December 13, 2012
I came across Maryhill in Washington, when I was trying to finalize (light pollution free) places to shoot Geminids meteor shower. This park has a full-size, astronomically-aligned replica of Stonehenge and was commissioned by Samuel Hill and dedicated on July 4, 1918 as a memorial to those that died in World War I. The memorial was completed in 1929.
The peak of Geminids is actually tonight (Dec 13, 2013), but given the overcast weather here at the northwest, it is not very promising. Hence, when there was a break in the weather yesterday, decided to take my chances. It was a nice experience, braving the December cold and watching the meteor shower in person. I was able to witness close to ~5 in a span of 15 minutes, as I was scouting / setting up at the location. But subsequently the skies were clear only for a few minutes – here and there. So much for the forecast and almost clear skies. It was not a great night for capturing the meteors, but given the new moon and having the entire place to play with some lighting, it turned out to a pretty good night for some star photography.
I used a small headlamp to light up the inside of the Stonehenge. The light from a near by settlement was reflecting on the clouds creating the yellow. The (once distracting series of) tower lights, harmonized with the fog resulting in the lovely red hue over the horizon. Incidentally, the passing by Union Pacific train decided to play along and lit up the outside of the Stonehenge. Wish there had been a meteor on this particular shot, oh well … I just love it when a plan comes together, or not :)
Camera : Canon 7D
Lens : Canon 10-22 mm
Filter : None
ISO 3200 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec
||Milky way @ Stonehenge
MaryHill, Washington, USA
September 10, 2012
It was a fun drive up Mt St Helens over the weekend. I was rooting for the sunset and there was some good light. But the highlight of the trip definitely was the milky way – suspended over St Helens. As we watched the stars drift across, the distant light on the horizon, lit up the clouds from beneath. It was ethereal.
I have tried to capture that feeling and moment in time. Nothing in this shot was created in Photoshop, It was all there – the stars, the clouds, the distant light and Mt St Helens. This is a composite of 60 shots each with an exposure of 30 seconds. One of the intermediate shots was processed to highlight the milky way; others were processed to highlight the star trail. I present to you ‘Condensed in Time’ – Approximately 30 minutes from that night, condensed into a single shot for you to enjoy. Hope u like it !
||Castle Lake Viewpoint
Mt. St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington, USA
July 9, 2012
It was one hell of a trip to Mt. Rainier National park last weekend. Trying to take advantage of travelling alone (which happens rarely), was thinking to sleep in the car- probably at a campground or at one of the overnight parking lot. The plan was to stay in the vicinity, to capture the first morning light on Mt Rainier. Being summer, that means being up at the spot by 5 AM. As I was driving towards the sunrise area of Mt Rainer, came across an empty parking lot at Sunrise Point. The view was so good that I decided to night out, right there. Dang it, I did not realize it would be this cold even inside the car. Next time need to carry a sleeping bag too :)
Anyway just as I was getting settled, the stars begin to peep, begging to be captured. I just could not help but take a stroll and set up for this shot. Though it was quiet remote northern part of the park & being atleast an hour+ drive to any established community, was surprised to see as much light pollution on the horizon. To add to it, the moon popped from behind. It was one fiery moon rise. I did want to capture more of the horizon, but the moon was way too bright to be captured along with the stars. Anyway the moonlight did help in lighting up the mountain. This is a panorama of two landscape shots. It is a single exposure (each) stitched together, with slight adjustments on levels and a bit of dodge, to put the the Milky Way on spot light.
It was one hell of an experience – just being one with nature, enjoying the slight cool breeze, shooting at mid night. Here is this week shot, in an attempt to capture that experience. Am sure you like it as much as I do. And by the by this would look amazing on metallic print !
||Milky Way @ Sun Rise Point
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington, USA
February 12, 2012
The starry skies on a clear night is so peaceful and soothing. Trillium Lake @ the base of Mt hood is an awesome place for watching the stars too. It is just far enough from the city to avoid the light pollution and short enough for an evening drive.
This was shot with the canon 7D at a slightly higher ISO  and exposure of 30 seconds. It is indeed amazing how much cameras have evolved there by enhancing flexibility, freedom and creativity. This is one of my initial try, yeah there is lot more learning yet to be done … Though I am not satisfied with the overall shot, I was glad to be able to capture the milky way. Now I would just have to wait for the winter to pass so I can just drive up to Trillium Lake. U know, its biting cold to hike up, and not so pleasant to camp out in the snow :)
Milky Way @ Trillium Lake
Mt Hood, Oregon, USA