Man it has been a cah-razy few weeks. I’m finally back home and looking forward to spending some time processing photos for a while :-). This is one of my favorite shots from the trip!The area around Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite and Mono was…unfortunately…in poor condition most of the time because of the rim fire to the northwest of Yosemite. We ended up throwing in the towel on the third day and booking it to Zion where we encountered some of the most amazing weather and light a landscape photographer could hope for.
Fortunately the sky to the south of Mono Lake was crystal clear and provided us with one of the most incredible views of the Milky Way I’ve ever seen. Framing our galaxy behind the alien-like tufas at Mono Lake really set this scene off for me. I hope you enjoy it as well!
I have a love/hate relationship with astro photography. I love it because it’s challenging, it takes patience and perseverance and the results are almost always worth it. I hate it because I’m never happy with the image quality. No matter what camera you have, when you crank your ISO up high enough to capture something like the Milky Way and then combine that with a long exposure, you’re going to get lots of noise. And noise sucks. I hate it. The other down side to these kind of shots is that you really can’t push the RAW files very far at all before the image quality really starts to deteriorate. All the more reason to get as much of it right in camera as possible. To light this 30 second exposure, I had my friendshine his flashlight on a tufa behind him to the right. He was shining the flashlight away from the scene, thereby using the tufa as a big reflector. It gave the scene a slightly softer look which I liked. Who knows where was at the time :-).