• sodium vapor lights from Medora? - kern.valerie
  • Yep, lights from Medora.
  • meteor? - wolfjaw
  • Jupiter
  • Yes it is! I caught a couple in the various frames as I exposed, some didn't make it through to the composite.
  • And an airplane trail.

Light Years

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View Large on Black at www.thewindypixel.com!

Well, we are all back safe and sound from a big camping trip out west. It will take us all months to sort through and process all the photos we took, but perhaps the best inspiration to keep that process moving is to start posting a few! So without further adieu, I’m going to rob you of today’s Chicago pic to bring you the Milky Way. I’m including here all the details on how the image was made in case you are curious and have the chance to drag your camera somewhere clear and dark.

Quite fortuitously, our camping trip occurred while the moon was rising very late – well after sunset. Moreover, we had a new moon one night – affording us a stunning view of the brilliant heavens when the weather was clear. The Milky Way was an obsession of mine during this trip, as it and so many other features of our night sky are a rare treat for us city dwellers. The campsites at Theodore Roosevelt National Park are situated amongst ancient and massive cottonwoods along the banks of the Little Missouri. Though most of the campground was huddled in their tents, lanterns burning, we stayed up a bit, watching the last bits of twilight fade from the west. There was supposed to be quite a spectacular meteor shower much later that night, but we saw several shooting stars in the span of just a few minutes waiting to see the Milky Way. Some of the larger ones would leave orange streaks in our vision across several degrees of the sky before they would explode with a flash.

At night, amongst the cottonwoods, the sky was resplendent with light, but it was so far off the earth was as pitch. The universe may hum with light, but our planet and ourselves are dark matter, illuminated only from the outside, and only when struck by the light of a very close star.

A bit about how this image was made: the original file for this image is about 56 megapixels and was composed from 14 individual frames. Each frame was shot at 50mm, f/1.8, ISO 2000, 30 seconds. I found while shooting with other lenses at f/2.8, ISO 6400, 30 seconds the Milky Way and stars were clearly visible, but I wanted an image with huge resolution and very little noise – so I thought I’d open up a stop and a half or so and drop the ISO down as low as I could. That’s Jupiter off to the left of the closer cottonwood and you can see not only the light in the tent but also the sodium vapor/tungsten light pollution from the little village at the entrance to the park, which makes for a great orange to blue gradient across the image. Click through to tWp to see the original frames if you are interested.

Thanks so much you guys for putting this into Explore - added it to my ImageKind page - prints available!

ill-padrino www.matthiashaker.com, and 579 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. figr0ll 51 months ago | reply

    Great shot. This type of shot is definitely on my photography bucket list so thanks for the useful information.

  2. Pan.101 44 months ago | reply

    very wonderful image

  3. KingsKidGL1 44 months ago | reply

    Amazing, Photography. Bedazzling Stairs to Dance in the Night.
    Thanks for all your Kindness. kk/GD

  4. rutu.r [deleted] 43 months ago | reply

    OMG! So serene!
    Really great photo! Fav'ed!

  5. Pavan Kaul 41 months ago | reply

    Brilliant ans very beautiful!

  6. macca jay 40 months ago | reply

    This is amazing!

  7. tojoART's 37 months ago | reply

    awesome shot

  8. feidoy 21 months ago | reply

    amazing work!

  9. cayugahull08 12 months ago | reply

    Wonderful image!

    He visto esta hermosa foto en Blue Magic
    I've seen this wonderful picture in Blue Magic

    Add 1 – Comment 1

  10. Vlad photos 12 months ago | reply

    He visto esta hermosa foto en Blue Magic
    I've seen this wonderful picture in Blue Magic

    Add 1 – Comment 1

    Seen next to a fellow photo of the group "*Blue Magic* Add 1 – Comment 1". ( ?² )

  11. dennisTruephotography 12 months ago | reply

    He visto esta hermosa foto en Blue Magic
    I've seen this wonderful picture in Blue Magic

    Add 1 – Comment 1

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