Sunday, February 1, 2015

Grapevine Hills Night Sky

A very neat area of Big Bend is Grapevine Hills.  Of course I say that about a lot of places around Big Bend-the whole park is just downright fantastic.   The Grapevine Hills are pretty unique even in the park.  They are an igneous intrusion, geologically speaking, and are a neat area of jagged pinnacles and interesting boulders.

I had great success last spring here for Nightscapes and wanted a chance to see the fall views of the Milky Way here.

It was another clear sky day with basically zero chance for any interesting images in the day time.  Of course, that means a very good chance to do night images.  I hiked up into the valley in the center of the hills and waited until dark.

The Milky Way appeared in the southwestern sky and I framed up a few possible images.  I was hoping for great views of the galactic core but the angle and hills blocked most of it.  The view here is really better for the spring months when the Milky Way is more in the eastern half of the sky.

I slowly worked my back down the valley making images, light painting, and taking in the view of the sky I had.

While playing with the fisheye I notices I could frame the Milky Way in such a way to see both sides of the rocky valley I was in and got this image here with the ground on either end.  I love that fisheye view and being able to see so much of the night sky.  It was another neat shot and it made my night.

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