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PixelDave

Country Skies



Night skies over a restored cabin in the ghost town known as The Flat in west Texas.

Night skies over a restored cabin in the ghost town known as The Flat in west Texas.
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Awards

Top Shot Award 22
Curator's Selection
People's Choice in Star Love Photo Contest
Peer Award
Absolute Masterpiece
Brian7K aydowlrich xAbsinthex robiecagle jackteague_2590 ewakadewska Imiellis +23
Top Choice
juneajgregorash vegie__bacon mrigen Tomate bruceshoji TWPhoto13 jontyimages +13
Outstanding Creativity
pongwisapalmdechapun rworld sumitdubey leighannwoods fssellin mvcastle rasmd +8
Superb Composition
nathanielrussell Miltos sammierubybrocklesby aamg5842 BrianHilton Vidyanand1310 Dawgbyte +8
Magnificent Capture
Hprue JamesHorseman familycam NickBelial rwcphoto JRosewarne andrewpowell_0479 +3
Superior Skill
Mark-5016 diegoscaglione Oldwoodchuck
All Star
freelancejim KayBrewer
Virtuoso
VincentRoccoPhoto
Genius
janzark

Emotions

Impressed
Jeremydean80 adearest OBRonTyan joshuamacdiarmid tracyjohnson aya_evita_ko Artmisia +5

Top Ranks

Photography Awards 2021Top 10 rank
Photography Awards 2021Top 10 rank week 1
Monthly Pro Photo Contest Volume27Top 10 rank
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 73Top 10 rank
Monthly Pro Photo Contest Volume27Top 10 rank week 2
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 73Top 10 rank week 2
Monthly Pro Photo Contest Volume27Top 10 rank week 1
Star Love Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Star Love Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
1 Comment | Report
Jeremydean80 Platinum
 
Jeremydean80 October 13, 2021
Congratulations on winning people's choice in the star photo contest. Beautiful image!
PixelDave PRO
PixelDave October 21, 2021
Thank you!

Behind The Lens

Location
This old house is a partial restoration/replica in an area known as The Flat. It's located below the hill upon which Ft. Griffin sits near Albany, TX. In its heyday the town supported a population of well over 1,000 residents including some unsavory characters such as Doc Holiday, John Wesley Hardin, and others. Wyatt Earp and his family also resided here for a short time. It was a wild enough place it earned the nickname "Babylon On The Brazos". In the mid-1870's it was so bad the commanding officer of the Fort declared martial law. It also happens to be one of the darkest night skies near DFW and is utilized by astronomers for observations purposes.
Time
The base image and interior lighting image were taken around 11:45 PM on July 31, 2021. The meteor was captured a little less than 2 hours later as part of a timelapse series.
Lighting
The exterior of the house was lit using a Generay LED-5300 light panel for about 2-3 seconds while moving from right to left as you face the house. The reason for moving was to avoid the dramatic shadows cast by lighting from a single location. That exposure also captured the night sky. My settings were f2.8 for 8.0 sec at ISO 6400. With the camera on a tripod, it was then possible to remote trigger my camera while I was inside the house and expose the scene again while bouncing the light off the ceiling in the main front room.
Equipment
I used a Promaster Carbon Fiber Tripod with a RRS-55 Ball head. My camera is a Nikon D850 and I was using a Nikon 14-24 f2.8 lens. My remote trigger/intervalometer is a Vello Wireless Shutterboss. As mentioned earlier the additional lighting was a Generay LED-5300 light panel.
Inspiration
I've been to this location multiple times over the last few years and have taken other shots in other locations around the area that are typically more popular. I had attempted a similar shot like this about 6 or 7 years ago, but honestly, my skill level wasn't sufficient to allow me to capture/create an image like this. I continued to learn new ways of using my gear, gathered more inspiration from the work of others, and more patience with editing so this year was different.
Editing
This was edited in Lightroom and Photoshop. I first corrected for chromatic aberration and distortion then used the Transform tool in LR to ensure my vertical lines were vertical (front porch posts, etc.). Then I took the image of the exterior with the image of the interior into PS as layers and using alignment and a bit of the warp tool succeeded in getting the windows aligned properly so I could mask out the exterior to let the interior lights show through. With this done I went back into LR and worked through getting the foreground, house, and night sky edited to my satisfaction. I then took that image along with the image containing the meteor into PS as layers and using a mask, brush, blending mode and the move tool I positioned the meteor where I wanted it and merged the layers. The end result is what you see here.
In my camera bag
It varies to some degree based upon the outing. If it's just an afternoon trip nearby I'm likely carrying one camera body, my ultrawide, a 28-300 lens for a bit of zoom work, a set of filters (CPL, ND, GND), my remote trigger, spare batteries, and spare memory cards. I usually have some of my business cards, some lens cloths, a snack of some kind, and a couple of bottles of water. For a multi-day trip, I will carry 2 bags and include my second camera body, all the chargers for various batteries, add in my 24-70, my 70-200, and my 200-500 lenses along with my 1.4TC to give me the ability to capture virtually any style of capture. I'll typically include my nodal slide as well as a second tripod, a light panel, and the filter set for my 14-24 Nikon lens. I'll also make sure I have an additional strap in case I want both cameras going at once with different focal length lens in place.
Feedback
Be patient and don't give up on the first try. If you have a vision, educate yourself on how best to go about capturing/creating the image. Look for similar images to your vision and try to understand how they were created.

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