Monthly Archives: April 2011

Navajo Bridge at Night

Navajo Bridge at Night

Dipping below the plateau of the Colorado on a moonless night heading for Marble Canyon, I felt adrift driving the van. With apparent nothingness outside, I was alone in time and space. It was a little odd to think of setting up for night photography in the darkness in an unfamiliar geography.

Soon enough, the road descended to the level of the Colorado River. Just a couple of miles from Lee’s Ferry—where early pioneers made their wilderness crossings, and where rafts take out for the glorious descent of the Grand Canyon—Navajo Bridge crosses the Colorado, already deep in the confines of Marble Canyon.

The original bridge, built in 1917, is now for foot traffic, so I went more or less to the center (as far as could be told in the dark) and shot down canyon, roughly southwest, toward the “modern” (1940s) bridge and the mysterious river running quietly on its path of no return.

Exif data: 10.5mm digital fisheye, all captures at f/2.8 and ISO 400, tripod mounted; exposure for bottom of photo at 9 minutes; stacked composite of sky from 13 exposures, each at 4 minutes, plus the original 9 minute exposure.

Posted in Digital Night, Photography

Night Sky, New River

Night Sky, New River, Arizona

On my homeward leg on my recent southwest trip, I swung down to New River, Arizona to visit Phyllis’s mom Barbara.

It was still dark of the moon, so I set up a night shot, plugging the camera and AC adapter into my big battery. The total exposure time was more than six hours (you can see the detailed information below). Then, with the camera chugging away, we went to dinner.

The stars in the Phoenix area are bright in the night sky, but there is also a fair amount of ambient light pollution—which takes down the contrast between the dark night sky and the circling stars. I adjusted for this by exposing at a lower ISO (200) than I would normally use for this kind of shot (ISO 400 is my typical setting).

There was not as much foreground activity as the lights in the composite image seem to suggest. Looking at the individual frames, two cars went by in the course of the six hours—one belonging to a neighbor, the other our return from a very pleasant dinner.

If you look at this image larger, you can make out a barrel cactus in the foreground (Barbara lovers her cacti—and I’d do anything to get this plural form of cactus into a blog story!)

Here are a couple of other long composite exposures of circling stars: Death Valley Star Trails and Valley of Fire Star Trails. If you are interested in this kind of photography, please consider joining me in November at Star Circle Academy below Mount Whitney in Lone Pine, California.

Exif data: 10.5mm digital fisheye, 95 stacked 4 minutes exposures for a total composite exposure time of 380 minutes (6 hours and 20 minutes); each exposure at f/2.8 and ISO 200, tripod mounted.

Posted in Digital Night, Photography

Slot Canyon

Slot Canyon

This shot of Lower Antelope Canyon is the first image I’ve had time to process from my recent trip to the southwest. I’m looking forward to posting more imagery including some dark-of-the-moon star circle shots.

Exif data: 50mm, 4 exposures combined in Photoshop using layers and masking, shutter speeds 0.8 of a second, 1.3 seconds, 2.5 seconds, and 4 seconds, each exposure at f/29 and ISO 200, tripod mounted.

Posted in Landscape, Photography