4 Hours in Pleasant Valley [6047-6109]

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Volcanic Tablelands Star Circle. Watch the movie!

The daylight effect is a result of using Picasa3's "auto contrast" feature.

The clouds added some interest to this otherwise boring foreground.

See this a bit larger, perhaps?

This image has produced some controversy. Some think I may have cheated and stacked daylight cloud images with night time star trails. I will say plainly that I did not do that. Here is the explanation:

Despite the way the shot appears, it is not a double exposure of day and night shots - it is a stack of night shots. You can see all of the shots used in the movie. The "trick" to get this brighter image was to allow Picasa3 to "auto correct" the contrast.

What is really going on, however, is that the moon rose after shooting started and created more and more illumination. The first shots with the clouds (which moved out of the image to the lower left) had very little moonlight on them. You can see where there are ragged parts of the star trails - that's because those portions were obscured by clouds.

The last single frame of the series appeared almost "day like" (only a bit darker than what you see above). The stacking process selected the brightest pixels from each frame.

© Copyright 2009, Steven Christenson
All rights reserved.

Raj Hanchanahal Photography, and 12 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. Stargazer95050 68 months ago | reply

    Hey -- how come you're always one month ahead of me ??
    After BM I plan staying in Bishop / Bristlecone area,taking the slow & long way home ...

    BTW any plans for tonight's meteors -- I know it's a tough one this year

  2. Kusum's 68 months ago | reply

    Ho wow. That is so nice.

  3. Raj Hanchanahal Photography 68 months ago | reply

    Awesome piece of art Steve! Well executed! For a moment it looked like a flashback wheel! :)

  4. Steven Christenson 67 months ago | reply

    Thanks for the kudos. Going to Bishop was on a lark. My real reason to go was for the Friends of Bodie festival - but since Bishop isn't far, and there are lots of cool petroglyphs I figured it was worth the side trip. You'll be seeing photos from Bodie, Mono Lake, and Bishop soon.

    As for the meteors, I did my usual evening hike up Mission Peak and hung out for an hour and a half watching for heavenly rain. Saw about 8, including 2 that were at least -5 magnitude - brighter than Jupiter by far. One with a faint, ephemeral tail. One of the brighter ones was NOT a Perseid - it went straight through the handle in Ursa Major which seems to indicate a radiant well east of Perseus's position at the time.

  5. Bob Shull [deleted] 43 months ago | reply

    Love the clouds in this shot!

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