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"Be Where You Are" | by Ben Canales
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"Be Where You Are"


Entry for Astronomy Photographer of the Year:

This is a single exposure image.

Tent lit by lantern. Milky Way lays low on horizon.

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, USA



I take my star shooting seriously. I will keep on shooting stars as long as it is dark and there are new ideas to try.


BUT, I also find it highly important to laugh, relax, and occasionally just flop down in the snow and look up to enjoy the sparkling show :-)


As landscape photographers, I think we need to keep in the back of our minds a priority to "Be Where You Are." In other words, yes, get the shot, bring home the winner, win contests, get in magazines, sell pictures at galleries- but damnit, make sure before all that happens, that you literally stop and smell the roses while shooting. Or lay down to look at the stars. Or, skip an exposure to just watch the Golden Hour show happen.


We travel so far to take pictures of beautiful things, but I know for me, I get there and then I can get all wrapped up in my intentions and focus and completely miss the experience of being there. Yes, I came home with beautiful pictures, but the whole time was wrapped up in ISO, aperture and shutter speed. That, is a small tragedy.

"Be Where You Are."

Or, for kicks, read the next line in your best Yoda impression:

"Where you are, beeee"



Thanks to Chip McAlpine for letting me join his trip, and especially for driving my snoring ass home afterwards!


This is from our first night at Crater Lake, out by Rim Village. Evidently it is against all things Holy to camp out within the lip of the rim. *shrugging* I just followed a trail in the snow! The Ranger was quite flustered when he found me here in the morning. My apologies to offended Head Ranger, my thanks to Crater Lake gods for sharing a night of stars and bedding within the off limits.


Oh, I made a timelapse video from this trip. You can check it out in the link below.

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Taken on May 26, 2011