Tuesday, May 27, 2014
I just returned from a photography outing to Mono County on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. My pal Marc Chaton accompanied me on the trek. Saturday evening we went to the shore of Mono Lake to work on sunset photos and perhaps to do some light painting of some tufa towers. I did a considerable amount of light painting of some sand tufa while Marc prepared some burritos for us in my trusty Roadtrek camper van. After supper Marc wanted to experiment with taking photos of the abundant stars overhead. We discussed some of the technical challenges of doing so.
I realized that my knowledge of observational astronomy was very rusty. I suggested that the Milky Way was perhaps overhead in the still brightening night sky, but I could not even be sure of the location of the summer triangle to confirm my guess. We agreed that we need some direction and help with stellar location. Shortly thereafter, we noticed the approaching beam of a LED head lamp. That person went to the only other car in the area for awhile. Meanwhile Marc kept on experimenting with exposures of the stars. after a while, the person from the other vehicle came over and started talking about astro-photography. It turned out that this person was an expert on the subject. Brad Goldpaint http://goldpaintphotography.com/ then shared some of his considerable knowledge about locating nebula, stars, and constellations. He also shared technical know-how about exposure and lens selection.
Here is one example of some Milky Way imagery that I took on the next night.