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Juniper under the Milky Way (1 of 1)



We had a photography-camping trip planned to Toroweap on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We were there at the end of August to catch the monsoon season and ...
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We had a photography-camping trip planned to Toroweap on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We were there at the end of August to catch the monsoon season and get some great storm shots. Well, clear skies and no storms, but it turned out to be a new moon and pitch black. Perfect for some Milky Way shots. I hope you enjoy.
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4 Comments | Report
Julieweiss PRO
 
Julieweiss July 25, 2015
Beautiful! I can't wait to see more :)
mikewooten PRO+
mikewooten July 25, 2015
Thank you so much. I will post more soon. I'm new here so still figuring out how this works. :-)
leewee
 
leewee September 01, 2015
Wow, Mike! You're awesome! Got a good eye! :)
mikewooten PRO+
mikewooten September 06, 2015
Thanks Will. That shot was alot of work, but i definitely think it was worth it.
Nikonian72
 
Nikonian72 September 01, 2015
Wonderous!
mikewooten PRO+
mikewooten September 06, 2015
Thanks! It does have kind of a supernatural feel.
Spinola PRO+
 
Spinola January 06, 2016
Perfect

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon at Toroweep during a couple nights of camping.
Time
Luckily, this photo was taken in late August or early September, so the Milky Way is visible at a decent hour. I believer this was taken at about 11pm, which is mych better than having to rise at 3am or 4am to get the Milky Way galactic center.
Lighting
Lighting was the toughest part of this photo. I shot it 4 nights in a row with modifications each night. The final product was light painting on the tree, with little spider light placed strategically in different parts of the tree to light it properly.
Equipment
Canon 1Dx with a 24mm 1.2 lens, Gitzo tripod with RRS ball head, various hand-held lighting.
Inspiration
Kind of funny story. We took this trip during the monsoon season expecting to get some photographs of great clouds, storms, and lightning. Not a cloud in the sky though, but serendipitously it was a new moon, so it was perfect for Milky Way photography. Our initial disappointment turned to elation when we were able to see wome of our night photography creations.
Editing
Yes. Night photography, especially Milky Way photography takes quite a bit of preparation and processing. I will typically take 10 -15 shots and blend them in post to cut down on the noise of a high ISO and long shutter. A long shutter and blending usually gobbles up a lit of light and color, so color correction is usually needed as well. There were a few clouds in the shy that night, so some of them had to be blended out while others contributed to the whiteness in the Milky Way center. We got lucky.
In my camera bag
For night photography I usually have two bodies - Canon 1dx and 5Dsr. I will carry a 24 mm 1.2 lens, 24-70mm 2.4, and a 16 or 18 mm lens. A sturdy tripod is a must. An intervelometer is a must, as well as some good flashlights and headlights. TONS of batteries are always needed.
Feedback
This was a VERY remote location, which was beautiful with very little light polution. I would suggest practicing your Milky Way photography was processing at a dark sky location near your home, then use some of the handy photo location apps to seek out a good place for night photography and when the Milky Way will be best visible. The moon casts much more light than you would think, so make sure that you're shooting at a new moon, or before or after the moon rises/sets. But sometimes the moon with provide lovely lighting to your main subject, so you can do some blending in the moon is part of your composition. It's usually best to keep it behind you though. Remember that in the Northern hemisphere, the Milky Way is visible in the South, so just make sure that you're not shooting while you're locate north of a big city, otherwise you'll be shooting South towards the Milky Way and picking up the light polution from the city. Practice, experiment and have fun!

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