Thursday, July 3, 2014

Milky Way Nightscape over Hot Springs Canyon

Early morning at Hot Springs Canyon was a shot I hoped to be able to get.  I had somewhat envisioned a shot looking down through the canyon with the Milky Way rising in the eastern sky above it.  I wondered about the possibility of lightpainting the canyon.  After the success we had at Santa Elena Canyon a few days before, we hoped to be able to duplicate it here.

We were up and out early.  We hiked into the canyon in the dark of 4am hour and back to where we had done sunset images.  I was keen to try using a 50mm lens to compress the scene some.  However we found the Milky Way was already too high in the sky for that image.  I made a few mental notes and filed the shot away for a future visit to the park.  I did concentrate on wider views of the galaxy and canyon.  Shooting both the views into the deeper parts of this small canyon as well as looking south across the river into Mexico.

One of the things we realized this morning is how the better night images will have a stronger foreground than a small canyon.  Things that look great at sunset seem small and dark at night.  If you compare these shots to the earlier entries and see the way the Balanced Rock, or pinnacles, or even the big walls of Santa Elena really help make the image.

Understand, I still liked the morning and the location but I think I got better night shots at some of the other locations.

I was carrying two tripods to work two camera setups.  Then after moving several times, switched over to just the one setup with the Canon 6D as it has an edge at night over the 5D2.

After making images at several stops we finally finished the hike and photographed a palm tree doing a little lightpainting of the tree with the stars shining above.

It was a great end to the night photography and we hiked back through the canyon in the gray twilight not making another image.





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