Friday, November 28, 2014

Storm Gods By Night

Storm gods by night on the Lost Mesa.  The views on the Lost Mesa are big.  It is a long way from anywhere and it seems you can see forever.  What a perfect spot for seeing the stars at night.  The open range grasslands themselves do not make a great subject to work into a night image.  The lonely mountains and rock art on them do.

I wanted to see if I could work the Milky Way into some images of petroglyphs there on the mountainside.  It was tougher than you think.  The Milky Way is generally in the south of the sky and most of the rock panels face north or west.  The evening did not have the right angle, however by getting out at 4am, I was able have the Milky Way better positioned.  Granted the best part of the Milky Way, the galactic center, had already set, but the angle would work well with some of my favorite panels.

I made the walk in the dark and after a bit of scrambling found the first panel.  I set up two cameras to capture the images.  I was working with my Sony NEX6 and 8mm Rokinon fisheye.  Then I had a rented Sony A7S with my adapter Bower 14mm.  With the amonut of walking here, I knew taking the third camera body was too much and so left the 5D2 and 24mm at camp. 

The rock panels here have some great petroglyphs on them.  I have found some panels that are 10' wide and several feet tall.  Some of the individuals glyphs here are three and four feet tall.

The first panel is one low to the ground with a variety of images on it, including a bison.  I made several and then wandered up the mountainside to one of my favorite panels with storm gods that are some three feet tall each.  Here the view is northwest and the late night Milky Way was lined up well.  

This is the same panel I shot an eclipse at back in 2012 Lost Mesa Eclipse

I was light paining the rock panels and working both cameras almost non-stop as I knew the dawn would be here fast.

After working several variations of the shot, I moved again to a more solitary storm god that the shot was more east. 

After getting a few images there I circled back to the panel with the bison and stayed there until morning light.  Then it was back to camp for breakfast and another day of exploring the mesa.





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