Winter Night on the Otero Mesa

The lost Otero Mesa is a lonely place by day and it is a dark one by night.  After spending the day chasing the snow I caught the late afternoon light and a fair sunset.  I settled into my camp for the evening and waited for the dark.  It was close to the new moon and I knew it would be dark skies.

I ate a quick meal and then when the stars were popping through the high thin clouds, I set my camera back up to see if I could photograph the stars and the night sky.

One thing about night photography is you need a strong foreground object.  Something to anchor the image to the ground.  Luckily the nearby mountains provided a nice feature to put in the frame.  I started making images and one of the longer exposures was picking up just enough light in the distant western sky to make out some detail in the land.

I thought it made a nice scene with the snow, mountains and stars.

I also added a similar image made in the afternoon to compare and see the amazing detail you can now get at night with modern digital cameras.  The top image may look like daylight but it was dark.


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