Milky Way

nightime milky way in the southwest

Milky Way

So, honestly, I feel less than thrilled to post this particular image.  It was made while in the Four Corners area on the mission trip, and does, indeed, illustrate why those of us on this trip love to sit out under the stars every night, no matter how tired.  It is, however, my very first attempt to capture the milky way in an image.  I was using my brand new wide angle lens.  At an ISO of 1600, a wide open aperture, and a 20 second shutter speed, I positioned my camera on a pile of large rocks, aimed it toward the sky, and fired away using my auto release cord.  I was really only moderately pleased with my results.  While I did record some “close” images, nothing really took my breath away.  Because I was shooting in the dark, and not able to truly review my images (other than in the viewfinder, where they all looked amazing), I found it hard to tweak the settings to improve the results.  So, while I am not thrilled with the sharpness of the image among other things, there are a few things I do like about it.  I was pleased with the silhouetting of the landscape in the foreground and the luck I had in capturing the satellite in the upper left hand corner.  It was also quite a trill to see how beautifully the milky way showed itself in the image – even better than to the naked eye.  All in all, I felt like this was a decent first attempt at capturing a pleasing image of our galaxy from one of my favorite places on earth.  It only makes me look forward to further attempts in my future!

First Star

star in the desert southwest sky

First Star

The stars… one of the best reasons to visit the isolated areas of the desert Southwest!  From the minute the sun sets behind the unique rock formations, the dusky sky becomes littered with tiny twinkling lights.  Certainly, the same event happens night after night anywhere you are, but the ability to really see and appreciate it is something truly phenomenal where the sky is as wide open as it is in the Four Corners area.