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Star Trails over Yosemite

Sunset at Glacier point in Yosemite National Park is quite a spectacle. It is a mesmerizing feeling to watch the last of the alpenglow light up the tips of the high Sierra Peaks. As it slowly sets, the sky behind the peaks develops a shade of pink called the Belt of Venus which is quite dramatic in the High Sierras. Closer to twilight, the stars start to appear and if the moon isn't up yet, it provides a great opportunity for the capturing of star trails.


The road up opening just recently provided great opportunities exactly that. The magic of star trails happens in the hours after sunset. The long exposure for star trails also captures some of the residual light and color left after sunset and this creates clear outlines of the high sierras including the iconic Half Dome and Cloud's Rest against a backdrop of the long arcs of the stars.


This is a stacked image taken at Glacier Point with two exposures around 5 minutes each - stacking was done to reduce sensor overheating noise.


View on black with B l a c k M a g i c.

Yosemite National Park


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Taken on May 9, 2009