I recently traveled to Utah for a vacation with my husband and had the opportunity to get out after dark and practice some of the techniques recently learned at Kevin Adam’s workshop on night photography.
Before reaching our destination in Utah, Brian Head, we spent a few hours in Zion National Park. Temperatures there reached over 100 degrees and we were happy to leave, but vowed to come back when it is cooler. Brian Head, with elevation of over 10,000 ft, was cooler but we had to get used to high elevation.
We patted ourselves on the back for picking Brian Head sight unseen because it was not only cool but we were right next to Cedar Breaks National Monument. Some of the vistas at that park could rival Zion and Bryce Canyon. And, because there were fewer people, I was able photograph star trails and milky way with almost no other photographers around.
Here is my star trails photo. It’s not a perfect photo, I did not pick the North Star (Polaris) for my center star. But it is so very exciting for me to produce photos of the night sky. The star trails show that the stars are rotating through the night, not staying in one place.
Then, I made a photograph of the Milky Way and made sure that I had something in the foreground. The beauty of the night sky in Utah is stunning. That first night we stood with our heads back looking at the stars of the Milky Way and it reminded me of my childhood. I remember when our family camped out under the stars somewhere in Indiana that the Milky Way was just as clear in the sky. The memory has stayed with me. I relived those memories as we stared deep into the Utah sky.
These photos were taken with Nikon D300s, lens: 12-24mm. Star Trails settings were f/4.0, at 4 minute shutter speed and ISO 400 with a tripod. Milky Way settings were: f/4.0, 30 seconds, ISO 1600.
Next week: Zion National Park