Trona Glow Star Trails: Trona Pinnacles, Mojave Desert, California


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A heavenly nocturnal show of the movement of the stars, moving around the North Star, with the glow of the little town of Trona below. I had the Trona Pinnacles to myself for the entire night, the desert air silent except for the occasional train rumbling past. It was a very peaceful evening, both here and later photographing the “Kill Bill” Church in Antelope Valley, elsewhere in the vast Mojave Desert.

The glow in the distance is from the little town of Trona.  I don’t always put glows in my night sky photos from neighboring towns, often trying to avoid light pollution altogether.  But this was so beautiful looking I had to incorporate it into this 51 minute star trails long exposure photo.  The pinnacles, left from when this was a lake, were illuminated by the moonlight.

I mostly enjoyed the peacefulness, although I did at one point lay on my car watching the stars while playing Bob Marley and Brian Eno/Cluster.  I later went to photograph the “Kill Bill” Church, made famous by Quentin Tarantino.  You’ll see that next week.


Title: Trona Glow Star Trails
Photographer: Ken Lee
Info: Nikon D7000 with Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens, 51 minute total exposure that was stacked in PS4. Each individual photo was a 30 second exposure, f/2.8, ISO 400. 18 July 2013 begun at 12:28 am. The pinnacles are illuminated with moonlight.
Location: Trona Pinnacles, 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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