Here are some more photos from yesterday’s eclipse.
Pompeys Pillar National Monument is just a couple of miles down the road from me. Since it was a rare clear night in the middle of an unusual large amount of snowstorms for the area, I thought I would try to get some quick shots of the monument. The sandstone formation is the location where William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition climbed the Pillar and carved his signature and date into the rock.
Last night it was 21 below zero, and I unfortunately had to walk into the monument since they don’t allow vehicles after dark. Normally, the walk to the monument from the road is easy. Given the weather, by the time I had walked in, shot pictures until the cold sucked the juice out of my two batteries, and spent a good chunk of time without a glove on my right hand, I was beginning to get symptoms of frost bite in my fingers. Normally, when I am out in the extreme cold, I am close to a heated car to warm me back up to the point where I can keep shooting. However, last night after I had begun to feel the pins and needles in my hand, i still had to walk about a half mile back to my car carrying a frozen metal tripod and flashlight. If I had gotten frostbite, I don’t think these pictures would have been worth it. My fingers still hurt from last night.
I have been sitting on these for awhile. I shot these back at the end of December. They are running with some more of my star pictures today in the Gazette’s Magazine section. CLICK HERE to read the story and see the other photos. The colors on the sandstone were created by quickly shining flashlights covered by gels onto the sandstone formations at Medicine Rocks State Park in eastern Montana.
I took these selfies today off Myers Road near Hysham, MT. I think these are the best self portraits that I have ever shot. For me , they are just a reminder of how insignificant all the trivial bs that I – and everyone else – deals with every day. More importantly, they remind me of how truly blessed I am to be alive and able experience such awesome wonders.
On technical note, the most significant thing I did in postediting that I did to make the Milky Way pop was to play with the contrast and white levels in Lightroom. Given the sky tonight I really didn’t need to do too much. However, I did need to do a lot of noise reduction given the long exposure and high iso. If you blow it up the noise is pretty significant , but on the small scale of the web, and if viewed from a slight distance it should be unnoticeable. It just goes to show ho amazing Canon’s noise reduction capabilities are becoming.
Merry Christmas everyone.
This January, I am going on a trip to Yellowstone where I plan on trying to do a lot of Milky Way photography, lately I haven’t had many opportunities to shoot at night to practice. The moon has either been uncooperative or the sky was overcast. Aside from the the temperature, 10 below zero Fahrenheit, tonight was perfectly clear and the moon was a late riser. So, I drove out north of Pompey’s Pillar and snapped these before the cold overwhelmed me and forced me back home.