Flickr friends, here is my attempt at making a unique and real photo of False Kiva. We hiked in at about 4 in the afternoon, watched and photographed the sunset, then spent hours getting our shots set up and lighting figured out. Then we waited until 3AM for the milky way to make its way into view. For this shot I have a lot of lighting going on... In the kiva I have my 580EXII strobe pointed towards the camera with a purple gel, shooting at a silver reflector disk. This flash was popped 3 times at 1/4 power with skyports. I am standing camera right with my vivitar flash in hand. Two pops at 1/2 power on zoom setting, at a very specific point on the ampitheater roof above the camera (it took test ~100 frames to find this magic spot) and then switch it to wide angle, 1/16th power, single pop against the far right wall to bounce more light back into the amphitheater.
Anyway, now I am going to rant about the rediculous Astronomy Picture of the Day for September 29, 2008 posted by Wally Pacholka. When I first saw his A True Image from False Kiva all I could think is what a load of crap. It is one thing to photoshop things into photos and create a stunning image -- but it is another to call it a true image and suggest it is 'real' and spread that lie far and wide across the internet (especially for such a fragile cultural resource). Sorry Wally, I don't care what you say, your image is super fake and you did a terrible job at the photoshop faking. The horizon looks terrible -- I assume you did a magnetic lasso and deleted the sky with out even feathering it. The milky way is too bright and sharp -- the only way you got that is with a sidereal drive tripod, shooting just the sky and then photoshopped the sky back in. The milky way in your shot is too large too, its not quite that big in real life. Sorry to bust your balls, but if you'd come clean about how you made the image, I wouldn't care. Throw in that crap about mountain lions and you sir are a bozo.