For photographers who love shooting images of the night sky, Spring in North America is an exciting time as the Milky Way Galactic Core shows itself again. Albeit in the very early hours of the morning!
Over the last few weeks I have made the early morning trek to one of my favorite spots in Sedona Arizona. The first was a 3am arrival on site by myself. A bit un-nerving knowing we have mt. lions in the area. So the second trip I did with my good friend Scott Stulberg. Both trips into the night where worth it!
My goal was to capture the Galactic Core next to the iconic Cathedral Rocks. Using PhotoPills app on my iPhone, I had the perfect plan and time to arrive. I was not disappointed on either of the 2 shooting occasions. PhotoPills was right on. I was in the perfect place for my planned epic shots.
Shots included capturing the moonlight on the red rocks then, without moving the camera, wait for the moon to set and the Milky Way to show on a dark sky. I also had some water in one of the reflecting pools to play with. We did Milky Way Panoramas using a Really Right Stuff Multi Row Panorama head on my Really Right Stuff tripod as well as Star Trails sequences. The only two lenses that we used where the new Tamron 16-30mm f/2.8 and the new Canon 16-35mm f/4. Both are really sharp and have virtually no Coma Effect or Chromatic Aberrations. They are good all the way to the corners too.
Sedona and Flagstaff, both being Dark Sky Cities, (and I get to live here in Sedona) are special places for night photography. Light pollution is at a minimum and the sky blazes with stars and the Milky Way. To make it even a sweeter spot, we have interesting rock formations and trees.
This summer is shaping up with trips already to do more night photography. Did I mention Monsoon Season starts in July? Bring on the lighting too!