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Under the Milky Way

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30 sec exposure taken in Grand Mesa area Colorado.

30 sec exposure taken in Grand Mesa area Colorado.
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Chavis72 October 08, 2013
This is so awesome!! How did you get the stars to show so much??
debcoimages April 27, 2014
Hi ames, I am not sure if I replied to your question so apologies if I didn't. Pick the nights when there is no moon and you are way from city lights, so the sky is really black. I used a longer exposure, 30 sec is usually optimal for getting the stars to show. Pump up your ISO and use a sturdy tripod and infrared or cable release. You will be amazed at what the camera can see.
dynastesgrantii Platinum
dynastesgrantii October 26, 2013
Beautiful image
carolcardillo PRO+
carolcardillo January 03, 2014
Beautiful and I like the idea of people in the campers experiencing this wonderful setting!
lynnemk July 31, 2014
This is amazing quality.
RhondaMcD September 18, 2014
Fantastic capture. Congratulations
huch5150 September 18, 2014
vbpbeetschen1305821 September 18, 2014
TinaTwinks September 18, 2014
Simply AMAZING!! Love it!
cynthialesley September 19, 2014
This is lovely!!!
onyanita PRO+
onyanita September 20, 2014
Cbries December 20, 2014
Stunning shot! Congrats!
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Behind The Lens


I took this image while camping in Grand Mesa Colorado in November.


I took this shot at about 10PM when the Milky Way was positioned closer to the horizon.


To get good clear shots of the stars there needs to be no moon. I was lucky that my time there coincided with a moonless sky.


I used my Nikon D700 with a 17-35mm Nikkor Lense. I shot at f2.8 and exposure was 30 sec. ISO was about 2500. I used my Manfrotto tripod. It is a little heavy but very sturdy which is essential when you are doing longer exposures. I set the camera to delay shutter opening by 2 sec. as I didn't have a remote release with me.


I love the night sky and have always loved gazing at it when I am away from the city lights. With digital technology I can now capture it. In this particular image I liked the way the warm glow from the RV's contrasted against the blue of the sky.


I post processed in Lightroom 5, adjusting contrast, vibrance and color temp. I also bumped up the clarity a little.

In my camera bag

In my bag I have 2 Nikon bodies, a D600 and a D700. My lenses are Nikkor a 17-35mm f2.8 wide angle, 80-200mm f2.8 Zoom and a 50mm f1.4. I usually have the wide angle on my D700 and the 80-200mm on the D600. D600 has more megapixels so I can crop in tighter if I need to with losing as much quality.


An exposure of longer than 25-30 sec will start to give you star trails, so if you ant your stars to look like what your eyes see you need to keep your exposure under 30sec. A remote timer is very useful. If you don't have one you can set your camera to delay firing. I use 2 secs just to give the camera time to settle after you hit the shutter release. You can also shoot with the mirror up so there is no vibration from it as it flips up to allow the shot to be taken.

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