Mountain of the Gorn – Vasquez Rocks Night Sky Photography

Recognize this?  This is the rock that Captain Kirk ran up when battling the Gorn!  I believe this is where he found this perfectly round rock, just sitting on the ledge, and rolled it down on the lizard man, only to find that he was not killed. Now, two weeks ago, I shared the star trails version of this image.  These pinpoints of light, beautiful stars hanging in the sky, were too much to resist, so I thought I’d share this with you as well.


Please click on the photo to view it larger and more clearly!  Thanks!

The interesting thing – at least to me, a night sky photographer – is that although I’m using a 50mm lens, which is considerably more zoomed in than the 11-16mm that I usually use AND the exposure is 30 seconds, which often shows trails, the stars don’t show very much trailing at all, appearing more or less as pinpoints.

This is a little different from most of my star trails because I didn’t use a wide angle lens, choosing instead to go with a 50mm prime lens, the Nikkor f/1.4 50mm.

When I focus, I often shine a very bright light on the foreground and then use the camera’s autofocus to do the rest, then simply switch to manual.  Not here.  The lens kept hunting.  After a few minutes of this, I reluctantly abandoned this idea, and focused using Manual, continually tweaking until I felt the photo looked as sharp as possible.  Looks like I nailed it in the photo, but it took a while.

Title: Mountain of The Gorn
Info: Nikon D7000, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens, 30 second exposure,
ISO 320 f/4. Light painted with Dorcy spotlight. 11:46 pm on 19 April 2013.
Photographer: Ken Lee
Location: Vasquez Rocks, California, USA

Equipment:  Nikon D7000, Tokina AT-X 116, Feisol tripod.

You can see more of these photos here  on my Ken Lee Photography Facebook Page (poke your head in, say hi, and “like” the page if you would, uh, like). We discuss long exposure, night sky, star trails, and coastal long exposure photography, as well as lots of other things, so I hope you can join us!

And you can go to the Ken Lee Photography website, which has more photos from Ken Lee.  Thank you very much for visiting!



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