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Nighttime in the Cirque of Towers

On a backpacking trip into Wyoming's Wind River Range, we stayed up late into the night to watch the stars rise above the mountains. A shining flashlight i...
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On a backpacking trip into Wyoming's Wind River Range, we stayed up late into the night to watch the stars rise above the mountains. A shining flashlight illuminated out of the tent. You can see the famous Pingora in the background as the light paints the foreground trees.
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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. A famous climbing area provided the nighttime backdrop as the stars lit up the sky.
This was taken deep in the middle of the night. The sunset was incredible and we stayed up to watch the stars fill the sky. Though it was the middle of the night, we could see headlamps trekking around the base of the granite spires, preparing for an alpine start to climb one of the areas abundant routes.
To add something more visible in the foreground, I had a headlamp shining around the trees right outside of my tent. The light popped out with the red rainfly. The headlamp was shining for about 20 seconds as to not overexpose the foreground.
This was shot with a Canon 7D mark ii on a tripod with a Canon 18-135mm lens. Flash provided by a headlamp.
I have always been drawn to mountains and the natural beauty all around. Nighttime almost creates another landscape, the mountains in the dark. I wanted to show how incredible these mountains are, even under the shade of dark. A bright star filled sky along with a headlamp helped brighten it up.
I did some minimal contrast and highlight post processing in Adobe Lightroom.
In my camera bag
As cumbersome as it is, I like traveling with more camera gear than not. Tripod, multiple lenses, cleaning supplies, all stuffed in a waterproof Mountain Hardwear pack.
The hardest part of night photos in the mountains is to hike in the gear, be up at night, and be patient. The more preparation you can do in the daylight the better. Find a spot you think will set up nicely for a photo at night. There are a plethora of star finding apps nowadays that help as well. You can see which constellations will be above the horizon at any given time, this helps if you want to set up a certain shot. On this same trip, the Big Dipper was sitting perfectly above the ridge on the other side of the valley. Practice adjusting your settings for night photos before your backcountry trip to conserve battery. See if you can take a photo of the night sky in your backyard and learn the adjustments.

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