Thursday, April 7, 2016

Zion Canyon Nightscapes

When I was in Zion National Park last fall, I was there right around the full moon.  Not really the best of conditions for the Milky Way.  Well just 3 days after the full moon you already have a short time of dark sky in the night as the moon rises about an hour later each night.  So by the end of my trip I could go out after sunset and have two hours or so of dark sky before the moon rose in the east.

I made the most of those two days I had the chance and that short amount of time to photograph a few locations in Zion Canyon.

In the fall the Milky Way is already in the western sky in the evening so that helped as the moon would be rising on the other side of the sky.

Deep in the canyon the view is mainly up and sure enough the Milky Way was visible.

On a trip the year before I had made one image with my NEX6 and fisheye lens where I looked up and you could see both sides of the canyon with the Milky Way.  I really liked that image and decided to do something similar.  This year I had my Sony A7S and full frame 12mm fisheye lens which give me much more capability than the little NEX6.

I visited a couple of different spots in the canyon and really was wow'd by the images.  Standing in the canyon looking up with the fisheye was like being in a bucket looking out.

While I mainly used the fisheye, I did try my 14mm and 24mm lens but kept going back to the fisheye lens as I always seem to at night.  Once you find the huge view the fisheye lens gives of the night sky, it is really hard to go back to a narrow slice of the sky of the 24mm.

So for each of those two nights I was out there for two hours until the rising almost full moon rose and the Milky Way faded.

It was really the perfect way to end my week in Zion, standing deep in the canyon looking up at the stars.


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