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All in a Moment

This was one of the first I truly pre-planned an image before I went out a shot it. In my mind before I arrived at this destination I knew I wanted to capture a...
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This was one of the first I truly pre-planned an image before I went out a shot it. In my mind before I arrived at this destination I knew I wanted to capture an image like this. I had no clue the colors and star trails would explode in such a fashion but I'm ever so grateful.
It was my first visit to Shiprock and had little to no expectations. Before arriving I had several different people forewarn me about the informal camping and the dangers of this location. While, this didn't inhibit me from going it did make me feel more alert. Upon arriving I quickly realized the informal camping was just that, the most informal expanse of land off of a dirt road. It was incredibly windy so I focused most of my attention on finding a location that was away from the wind. In the end, because of the composition I wanted I ended up being out in the open. After one night of test shots and an interesting introduction to two rock climbers I setup to get the shot I had in my mind. The wind was howling all night. I took several 30 minute test shots to gauge my exposure, hunkered the tripod of my camera down as low as it would go next to the wheel of my Subaru. The only place with at least a little cover from the wind.
This exposure ended up being 3 hours and forty five minutes. A single exposure star trail. The beginning of the exposure was around 2am, there was also a super moon, which increased the ambient light and cast the yellowish flow from left to right across the scene. The pink colors are pre-sunrise colors that started to illuminate the sky the last 20 minutes of the exposure. While my intention was to get star trails with Shiprock at the focal point of the exposure the added colors and quality of light was unexpected.
One of the things that I've always loved about long exposure is the uncontrollable elements. There are so many different factors that you can control but other components of an image such as this that are up to nature, out of our control but incredibly beautiful nonetheless.
I later learned that taking an exposure of this amount of time is incredibly bad for the camera sensor, due to the prolonged heat it is put under. I most likely won't take many more exposures of this length but am incredibly happy with the result. I hope you enjoy as well!
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Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 30Top 10 class week 1

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4 Comments | Report
margaretschmidt
 
margaretschmidt February 27, 2018
Beautiful!
Alfredo_Jose PRO+
 
Alfredo_Jose March 30, 2018
Stunning!
luckie06
 
luckie06 October 01, 2018
Shiprock of My Dream...
Neckbone
 
Neckbone Mar 06
Cool image!

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