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Camping Under the Stars- McWay Falls

My take on a classic Big Sur shot. McWay Falls at Julie Pfeiffer Burns State Park.


The orange glow under the tree is from some folks staying in the campground there.


Arrived at the park shortly before sunset, but that was not what I was after. I visualized this shot in my head when I realized that looking at McWay Falls from the observation path was almost due south, which is where the Milky Way looks best.


As I was waiting for the moon to set, I did some star trails and did a Venus setting trail that I will work on next. When the Milky Way "rose" to where it completed the composition (at midnight), I took a series of shots, two of which are combined here. The land and small inlet are a long exposure at low ISO. The Milky Way is a relatively short exposure at high ISO.


At first, I was upset that campers were polluting the scene with stray light that I would have to Photoshop out, but now I think it makes the shot. Sometimes the photo-gods smile on you.

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Taken on January 31, 2012