Posts tagged ‘star’

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 29, 2013

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star …

Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are …
Up above the world so high , like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone, when he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light, twinkle, twinkle all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark, thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go, if you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep, and often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye, ’till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are – twinkle, twinkle little star.

 

It has been so many years that I totally forgot the lyrics of this lovely rhyme.  On second thoughts – never mind – I wouldn’t have remembered past the second line, even if you had asked me then :P In the days of yore, one can only imagine how close people would have been with nature to be inspired to create such simple yet acclaimed art.

But these days, it is really unfortunate, that we are spoiling our night sky with all the light pollution. Did you know that nearly $2.2 billion dollars is spent every year in the U.S. alone on light that is wasted because it is spilled up into the night sky where it’s not needed. I drove 2 hours for this shot to get to a decent dark sky area, but still there were jarring lights on the horizon. It is high time we spread the word and raise some awareness to protect our night sky for our kids. And don’t forget to turn off the lights on Aug 12, 2013, if possible make it a habit :)

This weeks shot is from Green River State Wildlife area. And if you would like to create shots like these, check out the article – Stacking up the Stars – for the technique, Photoshop script (free download of course) and sample files to try hands on. The below is just one of the many ways you can process using the script (Creative Style Option 1 + Star Spike Pro). If your are getting started with night photography, check this write up – Sleeping with the Stars :)

You weren’t just a star in the sky, You were the whole damn sky …

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec [86 shots]

    Its raining Diamonds, Green River
Harmon, Illinois, USA
March 16, 2013

Star Sunset @ Copper Mountain

Sometimes,
It is not wondering about big things
But understanding small things
that helps you grow …

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : 3 stop ND Filter : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 1/6 sec

Buy Print   Copper Mountain Nature Trail
Beaverton, Oregon, USA
December 13, 2012

Stonehenge – right here at Oregon

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

Buy Print Milky way @ Stonehenge
MaryHill, Washington, USA
September 10, 2012

Milky Way @ Mt St Helens – Condensed in Time

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 !

Buy Print   Castle Lake Viewpoint
Mt. St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington, USA
August 13, 2012

Shooting Star(s) & the Moon, Venus, Jupiter etc.

Sleeping under the stars is an experience unto itself. In addition, being away from the city lights takes on a whole new level of fun, when you start taking star pictures. If u have not done it before, definitely give it a try :) In expectations of capturing a moment of Presides Meteor shower, headed to Trillium lake over last weekend (Aug 11-12, 2012) . Overall the meteor shower was pretty elusive than expected, always managing to put a show where the camera was not pointed. As the night was passing by, was worried that the moon rise (around 1:30 AM) might reduce the possibility of meteor sighting. But I was pretty surprised when everything just lined up just (around 3:30 AM) – the Venus, the Moon and the Jupiter – and even a meteor was adorning the scene. The star cluster you see a little off center on top is Pleiades nebula.

Hope u enjoy viewing as much as I did during the shooting !

Buy Print  Perseids Meteor
Trillium Lake, Mt. Hood, Oregon, USA
July 9, 2012

Night out at Mt Rainier

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 !

Buy Print Milky Way @ Sun Rise Point
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington, USA
February 12, 2012

Million Stars @ Trillium Lake

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 [6400] 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 :)

Buy Print

Milky Way @ Trillium Lake
Mt Hood, Oregon, USA

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