when you wish (upon a star)

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(begin shameless plug)

This image is one of 125 finalists in the "Share the Experience" Official Federal Parks and Recreation Lands Photo Contest. Voting is open to the public until January 31st, and you can vote once per day. So go vote (not necessarily for me, but for whomever you think deserves it... though I won't complain if you pick me ;-) I also saw one of Brian (chaybert's photos there, and in general there are some impressive images.

Go vote!

(end shameless plug)


My one and only night in the Grand Tetons was spent photographing star trails; looking back, it was worth the sleep I lost. From my campsite at Signal Mountain it was only a minute-long hike to the edge of Jackson Lake. I was admittedly nervous following the trail through a patch of woods to the lake's edge... it was sooo very dark, and the trail ended about 20 feet above the water, and I heard howling in the distance for quite some time. I know, I know... silly stuff, but it was still enough to give me goosebumps.

I tried three or four different exposure lengths, varying from 15 minutes to, I believe, almost two hours. This was one of the longer ones. In between exposures I crawled back into the tent to try and sleep... each time my alarm went off again, it was a battle to crawl out of the warmth, put my shoes on and stumble back to the edge of the lake where my cold little Nikon FM sat on his tripod. (I was also a bit nervous about leaving my camera and tripod unsupervised for that amount of time, even being only a minute away from it, but I wasn't about to stand beside it for two hours!)

Anyway, yes, the Tetons. Beautiful, beautiful mountains. It was quite worth it in the end. ;-)

chrias., [Andrew M Snyder], and 422 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. Aprilman 68 months ago | reply

    Brilliant. That you used an Nikon FM makes this even more appealing to me.

  2. Mirtina 68 months ago | reply

    great photo!!

  3. Available Light Images 65 months ago | reply

    Stunning light, congrats on a killer image..

  4. photographer1984 [deleted] 65 months ago | reply


  5. Tobias Walter 64 months ago | reply

    amazing image!!

  6. bright lights photography 61 months ago | reply

    wow this is great. :)

    please take a look at my stream. thanks.

  7. Håkon1981 58 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Star Trails Film Only, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  8. Oly_m 58 months ago | reply

    luv your story and the end result... magical!

  9. Τϊζζ¥ 53 months ago | reply

    Freaking AMAZING!

  10. SeattleRay 47 months ago | reply


    I have just finished a collection of 30 pictorial gallery tours of Yellowstone Park. The pictures in each gallery follow the provided NPS maps of 8 destinations and 14 routes. Also there are 8 galleries showing the Yellowstone and Grand Teton seasons. A total of 540 of the 'best' Flicr pictures have been selected. Descriptive text and links to Internet pages have been added to most of the pictures.

    In the galleries, I have included several of your pictures as the 'best' that depicts a particular scenic spot. You can see how this picture blends into one seasonal gallery by clicking on this link --
    GTNP Winter Season.

    Comments are always welcome. Even attaboys! Thanks for taking and sharing this picture.

  11. tallawah75 39 months ago | reply

    great shot..

  12. mhitchner1 37 months ago | reply

    Stunning... Amazing capture! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  13. Zi Wei 36 months ago | reply

    This is an amazing shot! All that you went through to get this shot really payed off. Keep up the adventurous spirit!

  14. Dave Leon 36 months ago | reply

    Nice story regarding this photo...it was so worth it...congrats on a spectacular shot!

  15. cowlishaw 4 months ago | reply

    Whoa you can take a lot of fantastic pictures! :)

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