Friday, October 14, 2011

Reach for the Stars

Reach for the Stars - 5D2, 15 Fisheye, f/5.6, 12m x 3, ISO 100
Ever since I saw the first photographs of the Bristlecone Pine forests in the White Mountains I knew that I wanted to make an image at night with the stars.  The trip from this past weekend was another attempt and I got closer to getting the image I wanted, but still not quite there. 

My friend Greg and I went up and hung out by this striking pine well before sunset.  Though we wanted to do some nighttime shooting, we still ended up making a lot of frames while the sun was setting (those images coming soon).  My goal was to make an image with the milky way in full view and so I hauled my Astrotrac.  Unfortunately, due to the exceptionally bright moon and recent fresh snow fall the ambient light level was too high for a galaxy image and my Astrotrac flaking out was the final nail in that coffin, so I had to settle for some star trails. 

This image took quite a while to process mainly because I had some small registration errors in the 3 separate captures.  In addition, I wanted something that would print very cleanly even at large sizes and so ended up having to do a lot of chromatic aberration cleanup by hand.  In all the post processing took about 6 hours to do (including some tonal work to get rid of hot spots).  However, looking at the 24x36 print that now hangs in my office, it was worth the effort.

1 comment:

Tung Tran said...

Stunning image Aravind.