Posts tagged ‘nightscape’

July 24, 2017

Living under the stars

It is not a magical myth. There still exist places where the entire night is blanketed in the glow of the milky way. It is up to us all to make sure it stays that way :)

Went out along with my son for a night under the stars. After the long drive, at 5 minutes past 11, the planned spot at a State park did not work out – they just closed the gates prior to our arrival. This led to a drive around the unknown rural roads. After some scintillating conversations, light painting and trying out some Milky way shots, came across this lovely spot.

It was quiet a place to take a walk. Unlike city, there were no harsh lights to showcase the stone road, just the light of the stars and the sounds of the night. On the left were close to a hundred cows, casually mowing the grass. Only after we crossed the field, were we able to see the light, at the front yard of this house. Just enough for them and not polluting the night sky. It was quiet a scene, literally !

We talked about light pollution, rural life, dark skies, stars and soaked in the night :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 800 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

   Living by the Stars 
Elberton, Georgia, USA
June 18, 2017

Symphony of Light

Dying daylight & rising twilight,
Kindles the tiny angels of the endless night.
It is quiet a sight
Witnessing the symphony of light.

Specks of light, Shining bright,
Weaving a silent song by moon’s light,
So nimble & ever in flight –
To watch them twinkle, is always a delight :)

 

If you are interested with how this was shot & processed, check out this article.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 400 – 3200 : 10 mm : f8.0 : 30 sec ; 245 Shots

     Elkmont
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA
December 13, 2016

December Super Moon

For most people, we often marvel at the beauty of a sunrise or the magnificence of a full moon, but it is impossible to fathom the magnitude of the universe that surrounds us :)

– Richard H. Baker

The last quarter of 2016 had been treating us with Super Moons. To the casual watcher it does not make much of a difference in size, but it does give an excuse to go out, shoot and enjoy.

All the planning did not come together during Oct and Nov, as the weather Gods had other plans. The third and final installment of this supermoon trifecta adored the sky earlier this evening (Dec. 13, 2016). And Oh boy, was it awesome ! 

This is not a composite (not that there is anything wrong with composites). But it was much more fun and challenging to plan and get it all together, restricting to a single focal length.

As I came to the spot shortly before the moon rise, was worried the anchored boat would be a hindrance. But once I walked around, the composition fell in place – and in this case, I feel it adds to the scale of the shot :)

 

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 320: 270 mm : f5.6 : 1/8 sec

Buy Print    Moon Rise 12.13.2016
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
September 5, 2016

Iconic Skyline of Dubai

Generally urban cities each boasts an iconic skyline. But Dubai – it boasts a skyline where ever u look ! From being a dry desert in early 80’s to being the world’s biggest shopping & transient travel hub now – these skyscrapers play a vital role in making Dubai.

The effort to capture the iconic buildings started much before I landed here. Thanks to Google maps & street views, most of the planning was done even before I boarded the plane. After reaching out to couple of friends and scouting the location on street view, it was a matter of getting to the spot at the right time and pray that the visibility was good !   

When I got in the cab and asked to dropped on the side of the road @ Palm Jumeirah, the cabbie might have thought I was crazy. He asked several times if there is an restaurant or an hotel I would need to get dropped … Eventually he joined me in enjoying this lovely skyline view and did drop me back at the next stop :)

The Burj Al Arab (Tower of the Arabs) is the world’s only 7 star hotel and designed to resemble a billowing sail . At 1053 feet (321 meters), it dominates the Dubai skyline making it the fourth tallest hotel in the world. Tried getting in, but looks like one cannot even enter without a reservation ! Though the visibility was reduced , Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower) adorns the distant skyline. At 2722 feet (837 meters) and being the worlds tallest structure, it houses a combination of residential, commercial & business entities. With both Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa this view definitely makes one iconic Dubai skyline.

 

Dubai was totally the opposite of what I prefer in travel – simplicity, native, one with nature – but somehow it made me intrigued. Was surprised with how much you can see and do in Dubai even in a short time.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100: 59 mm : f5.6 : 30 sec

Buy Print    Dubai Skyline
Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE
May 9, 2016

The Celestial Glow

Shooting Star …
now what would U wish for :)

 

This past weekend the weather was pretty warm and the skies clear providing a right mix for some star gazing. Being around new moon and the Eta Aquarids Meteor at peak was an added bonus.

Apart from the over hyped theme parks, Florida has much to offer. Despite what you may know, there are still some spots so remote and light stricken that on a clear summer night like this, the Milky Way glows, like a low lying cloud. Cedar Key, Florida is one of those places nestled on the Gulf of Mexico and provides a truly “Old Florida” rustic experience. I have a feeling this was just first of the many more night trips to come :)

 

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30.0

Buy Print  Eta Aquarids Meteor (05.08.2016)
Cedar Key, Florida, USA
May 2, 2016

Tampa RiverWalk by Night

Who said nights were for sleep – Marilyn Manroe

Tampa River walk is a phased open space and pedestrian trail along the Hillsborough River in Tampa FL, for about 2.3 miles, from Waterworks Park to Channelside. The river walk offers for a variant of activities from food to parks to walks on the land side and boats to kayaks to water bike rentals on the water. It provides for a fun walk taking you past many restaurants and parks that often have outdoor music and activities going on throughout the day and night. If the views aren’t enough to keep you interested, there are little historical and informative landmarks along the way. Just don’t forget to Wear sunscreen and/or a hat and bring water bottles. Or better at night come in at dusk to enjoy the season colors which is simply beautiful along the walk at night.

This was one among my many favorite views, highlighting the futuristic River walk along with the University of Tampa on the backdrop :)

 

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 400 : 22 mm : f5.6 : 8.0

Buy Print    Tampa Riverwalk
Tampa, Florida, USA
April 25, 2016

Moonrise by Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon ?
Great food, but no atmosphere …

I wonder how come its still full ;-)

After a couple of months, decided to plan for a full moon shoot for this year ! After scouting couple of locations, decided the Sunshine Skyway bridge would provide a nice backdrop. May be, without realizing, I was trying to mimic the mountains with this urban set up :). Anyway, weather had different things in store for the evening. It was so cloudy by the horizon, that the supposedly big moon, was not even visible during the rise. Then began a game of hide and seek. Eventually, she peaked out for a while, giving just enough time to capture this scene !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 320 / 125: 169 mm : f5.6 : 8.0 / 1/15 sec

Buy Print  Sunshine Skyway Bridge
St Petersburg, Florida, USA
April 11, 2016

Life is Amazing

For a minute,
walk outside,
stand there,
in silence,
look up at the sky,
and contemplate
how amazing life is :)

 

A night under the stars always brings in thoughts of contemplation :) This was shot by the Wisconsin river late last year while chasing the Perseids. I love how a distant car left a trail over the distant bridge.

 

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30.0 sec

Buy Print    Wisconsin River
Blue River, Wisconsin, USA
March 27, 2016

Milky Way by Night

Somewhere, Something incredible is waiting to be known. – Carl Sagan

As Spring comes up, so does the galactic arm of the milky way. Due to the curvature and constant movement of the earth, the Milky Way is below the horizon during the months of November to February, and can be enjoyed with the galactic center from March to October (if you live in the northern hemisphere).

This shot is from the one of the most known Perseids meteor shower from the past year. We drove around the Green river state wildlife area and luckily chanced upon a remote road. As I light painted the foreground with Coast HP7,  the meteor sparkled across the night sky. One of the stars even decided to play the head of the comet.

Looking forward to more adventurous nights this year :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

 Perseids (08.13.2015) @ Green River State Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
February 21, 2016

Adios Chicago

Moving from salting side walks to salting Margaritas, hopefully ;-)
Read somewhere that not everything can be bought, but looks like even Sunshine can be :)
Looking forward to what Life & Sunshine State has in store …
Adios Chicago !!!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 13 mm : f8 : 30.0 sec

   Buckingham Fountain
Chicago, Illinois, USA
November 4, 2015

It all comes down to …

Contemplating life under stars, at Wisconsin river.

Watching the stars make you realize, how small you are. But at the same time the openness of the clear skies reminds, that you are nothing but the universe itself. The water drop is not outside the ocean, but the ocean itself. At the same time the ocean would not be there with out the water drops.

It all comes down to you :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print  Perseids Meteor (08.15.2015)
Blue River, Wisconsin, USA
September 21, 2015

Go, Get Lost !

It is good to get lost. It helps to find yourself.

With technology today, one can afford to get lost, without getting lost. It is much easier to take that road not taken, knowing that you have access to GPS and can get back home, if u decide to. I generally plan for location and timing to get the golden light. But once in a while I do enjoy getting around without a destination. Not knowing where the path leads, making the journey even more interesting.

What are you waiting for, just hop in the car and drive to the stars ! I assure, you wouldn’t regret :)

The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination. – Dan Milman

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30.0 sec

Buy Print    Green River Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
August 17, 2015

Stroll by the River @ 2 AM

The Perseid meteor shower, is associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle and appears to streak out of Perseus constellation. Perseids usually is visible around 2nd week of Aug. With little or no moon to ruin the show, this was a great year for watching the Perseid meteor shower.

Every time the comet dives in towards the sun, it leaves a trail of rocky icy bits along its path like a cosmic, frozen Hansel and Gretel trail. This trail can remain intact for decades after the fact and gets refreshed with each new pass (the last of which was in 1992 and the next one is 2126). As the Earth barrels through the debris field, all the little bits in it’s way burn up in the atmosphere, creating brilliant streaks across the sky. Even particles the size of the sand can create some lovely views like this.

 

2 AM in the Morning, Watching the milky-way, Sipping a cup of hot tea – is an experience unto itself. Add a shooting star and what more can u ask for :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print    Perseids Meteor (08.15.2015)
Blue River, Wisconsin, USA
July 27, 2015

The Celestial Alignment

When life knocks you down, just roll over and enjoy the stars :)

This shot is from a few years back, when I was out at Trillium Lake to enjoy the Perseids Meteor Shower. Being my first night-out shooting, I consider myself lucky to have captured the Perseids. It really did not start out that way. The first half of the night was more of hide and seek, as the meteors were adorning the skies, especially where the camera was not pointed at. I was much worried that the possibilities would only go down, as the moon was coming up.

As the night was wading, the moon was coming up the horizon. But only after I decided to stop chasing the Perseids, did I notice that the moon brought in Venues and Jupiter along, in a lovely celestial alignment. As I zoomed in to capture the night sky along with the Moon, Venue & Jupiter – a Perseids – decided to join the show too. I couldn’t be more glad, when all things came in alignment :)

Perseids Meteor Shower is one of the more consistent meteor showers in the northern sky. Its coming up in a few weeks (Aug 12-14, 2015) and the waxing crescent (3%) would not be hindering the same. Have you planned where you would be enjoying the show from for 2015 ?!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 1600 : 19 mm : f5.6 : 15.0 sec

   Trillium Lake
Mt. Hood, Oregon, USA
July 20, 2015

Moon Rise by Cave Point

Moon rise can be as beautiful and dramatic as a sun rise. And the best part, you don’t need to wake up early ;-) This was from a lovely night at Door County, Wisconsin. The moon rise did kind of mess up with enjoying the  milky way, but the dramatic light, compensated for it.

The moon light was so bright, that it lit up the entire cliff. Had lot of fun with trying out some fun compositions like this. Even a shooting star (Draconid) decided to accompany us.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 1600 : 20 mm : f3.5 : 30.0 sec

Buy Print    Cave Point County Park
Door County, Wisconsin, USA
June 25, 2015

Road to Aurora, accompanied by Fireflies

Had been missing on sharing posts lately as work is going crazy. On the night of Jun 22, was working thru midnight, but when the Aurora was still going strong and the weather was forecasted to clear up, it was time to take a decision – to snuck under the blanket for a deserved cozy sleep, after a really long day OR miss out on the sleep and drive out couple hours to get a chance of a lifetime. Being a working day did not help either.

Looking back, I definitely would have regretted, if I had not drove out at 1 AM. Ideal time for Aurora viewing is from 10 PM to 2 AM and a location that is potentially dark, away from the pollution of city lights. The weather was starting to clear only around 3 AM. Hence it was all a hit or a miss.

But oh boy – the big dipper, the lovely colors of aurora dancing & the fireflies that decided to accompany the sweet night – it was quiet an encounter :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 1600 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 20 sec

  06.23.2015  3:40 AM CST @ Green River Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
April 5, 2015

Lunar Eclipse by the Lighthouse

Witnessing the lunar eclipse was magical. Planning and shooting the same was a lot of fun. Out here, in the north east of US, the lunar eclipse was not total, so missed out on the blood moon, but it was still a scintillating experience. As the moon was getting into total eclipse, it set over the horizon. But at the same time it created for some interesting photographing options.

This involved a lot more planning than it meets the eye (and a bit of luck, as there were too many variables from the weather, location, time zone, the quality of the air etc. Will share more details on the planning and tools  in a separate article, for my geek friends out there later this week.

Additionally, this is something new I had tried. Had always wanted to shoot a scene around sunset and into the night and highlight the same in a single frame as time-slice [A time slice is depicting a time range in a single frame]. When I learnt about the lunar eclipse, this past week, thought it might be a good candidate for time slice. This shot is a mix of landscape and time slice – in an attempt to highlight the lunar eclipse in the context of the surrounding landscape. These shots were taken from 4:45AM EST thru 6:25 AM EST (one of the shortest lunar eclipse of this century). This was a panorama made out of a composite. Though it does not look like a wide view, that is what helped capture the moon and the lighthouse in context (all 12 images [10 for the moon and 2 for the lighthouse] used to create the same, were shot at the extreme end of my long zoom lens). The long zoom helped actuate the size of the moon to some extent due to the much debated perspective compression effect.

Driving for couple of hours, setting out with the camera in the biting cold,  witnessing moving ice by the lake, the planning, the execution and the processing – it all culminated in the below shot :)

Panorama Time slice made with 13 shots

Buy Print   Time Slice of Lunar Eclipse 04.04.2015
South Haven, Michigan, USA
March 29, 2015

Falling Star … Falling Star …!!!

This was from the night, few moons ago, when I was shooting the camelopardalis meteor shower. Clear nights are nice to shoot the milky way. But a little bit if mist, actuates and gives a good nice glow to the stars. I love the Green River Wildlife Area for the night sky watching. It provides ample dirt roads and parking spots where you could set up base ! For this shot I set up the camera and decided to drive around and the set the car, so the head lights could light up the trees :)

It is fun to shoot the milky way. It is even more enjoyable when my family joins in the party. My son (8 yrs) is equally intrigued by the night sky. Along with the shot, just wanted to share something he wrote during one of our trips to catch a glimpse of a meteor shower.

Falling star Falling Star
Sliding down the Sky
I will catch You when I fly.

Falling star Falling Star
You have a Shiny light,
Which makes you very Bright
You go swiftly
– My Dad takes snaps of U quickly.

Falling Star Falling Star
We see U barely,
So come out early
We see U in dark starlit midnight
Hoping to see U tonight. – Pranav :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-24 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Camelopardalis Meteor, Green River Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
November 30, 2014

Storm in the Skies

After driving for 14 hours straight, I thought, all I would want was to get some break and sleep. But I was wrong ! As we reached the Smoky Mountain National Park and set the tent well into the darkness, the conditions were just ripe to explore some stars and was too tempting to miss ! The moon was not up, it was one of the darkest skies that I had seen in a while. It took a while to drive around and identify a spot, safe enough to shoot shoot the stars with some interesting foreground. Being new to the place, the mystery of the night and the sound of the rushing stream near by, added to the experience. The clouds were moving pretty fast, and helped set the mood of this shot to a great extent.

As for the processing of this shot : it was aided by the nifty Photoshop script(s) – Creative Trails UI & Creative Effects UI. I wrote a whole article about these scripts over the weekend. You can download the scripts here (for free, of course !) . If you are into photography do take some time to check it out.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec 

Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Elkmont Road, Tennessee, USA
November 13, 2014

Star Lit Orb at Cave Point

The trip to Wisconsin was awesome this past season. Not only was the falls colors great at door county, but got a chance to hike along the cliffs, capture a shooting star, shoot a moon rise, some star trails and opened some portals too :)

The Gibbous moon lit the cliffs from behind the bushes !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 1600 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec 

  Cave Point County Park
Door County, Wisconsin, USA
%d bloggers like this: