Celestial Photography at Arches!

Celestial Photography at Arches!

Just returned from 10 day biking/hiking trip to Steamboat Co.  Had the opportunity to do a great side trip to Arches National Park (outside of Moab Utah) and grab some great shots of the spectacular/iconic rock formations against the backdrop of the Milkyway Galaxy!

I started shooting about 10:30pm when twilight had receded and the night sky was in full bloom.  For you tech-heads out there….here’s how I grabbed these images:

  • I used a full frame SLR with a very fast fixed focal length lens (Canon 6d and Rokinon 16mm f 2.8).
  • The Camera was mounted on a tripod, with the lens held open for approx 25 seconds (F2.8 @ 2000 ISO).  Long enough to get a proper exposure, short enough to avoid star trails.  Ie. the stars rotate around the North Stars….if you leave the lens open too long…you get streaks.
  • I illuminated the rock formations using two techniques.  A.  I started using LCD flashlight with colored gels…to bring out the natural color of the rock.  I typically positioned the camera in front of the arch, then painted the arch with light from the side.  I trigged the camera using a remote blue-tooth shutter release.  B.  When the moon came out later in the evening, I used that as the additional light source.

 

 

North Window. Snitz standing beneath with gelled light.

North Window. Snitz standing beneath with gelled light.

Milkyway Galaxy creates a great backdrop!

Milkyway Galaxy creates a great backdrop!

Looking up through the Double Arch

Looking up through the Double Arch

Author providing side illumination for Turret Arch.

Author providing side illumination for Turret Arch.

The Tower of Babel, moonlit later that evening.

The Tower of Babel, moonlit later that evening.

 

 


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