I’m getting ready for our next big adventure in a couple of weeks. We are sauntering along the John Muir Trail, which begins in Yosemite Valley at Happy Isles and ends at the summit of Mt. Whitney. The official route to the end is 211 miles. However, we cannot stay forever at the summit of Whitney – for one, I get horrible altitude sickness and two, I think it’s cold up there and I’d probably die. So our route, including getting off trail for re-supplies and such will come in closer to 230 miles.
Along those 230 miles, I’d like to be able to photograph as much of the experience as possible and that includes the night sky. It’s so easy when I’m home to put off going out late at night because there is always tomorrow night. But when I’m already out there camping, it’ll be easy. But, I can’t just go out there never having shot the night sky, so this week, given the perfect moon phase, I hope to get out a bunch of nights to practice.
Last night was just one of those nights. I really thought I could get a good shot over Lake Casitas and while I liked the shot, it wasn’t what I had imagined. There was way more light pollution than I expected and it was cloudy.
On the way home, I headed over to the beach just about a mile from our house. I never figured I could get a shot there because there are so many lights, but this one didn’t turn out too badly.
I took this just about 10pm last night. Some technical specifics of the shot… 20mm at F2.8 ISO1600 and a 20″ exposure. The plants in the middle were lit up by a car that was pulling into a nearby parking lot so I tried to darken that just a tad. The other thing I did was use a WB of Tungsten because I really like how it makes the sky so blue. You can see it was also slightly cloudy here at the beach but I kind of like how they look and how you can see the stars right through them. Those are oil rigs out in the distance. Anyway, all in all, a great time – even if it was past my normal bedtime.