Pine Mountain Star Trails – Winter Star Trails

startrails-kenlee_buddhisttemple_23halfmin_30sf28iso800-700px

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

It is possible to create star trails with clouds. If the clouds are relatively insubstantial (thin) and are moving along, the star trails will still come out…and if the clouds are lit up by the setting sun, light pollution, or something else, they can make for some colorful night sky images.

Title: Pine Mountain Star Trails
Photographer: Ken Lee
Info: Nikon D7000, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Feisol tripod. This is a long exposure night sky photo of 23 and a half minutes in total, with each individual photo exposed for 30 seconds at f/2.8 ISO 800, stacked “by hand” in CS4. I did light paint the tall pine tree with a Streamlight LED flashlight but then decided it looked better without it and got rid of that frame. Photo begun probably about 8:40 pm D.S.T. on 23 November 2013.
Location: Pine Mountain Buddhist Temple, Maricopa, Callifornia, USA

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

VISIT ME, VISIT ME!
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!

 

Advertisements

Winter Milky Way Photo – Pine Mountain Buddhist Temple and Meditation Retreat night sky photo

5036kenlee_buddhisttemple-pinetreehillmilkyway-20sf28iso2500-flat

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

Milky Way over Pine Mountain Buddhist Temple and Meditation Retreat.

Title: Rizo Trails Hills Milky Way
Photography: Ken Lee
Info: Nikon D7000, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. 20 second f/2.8 ISO 2500. Photo 10:05 pm D.S.T. 18 November 2013.
Location: Pine Tree Buddhist Temple and Meditation Center, Maricopa, CA, USA.

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

VISIT ME, VISIT ME!
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!

 

Mobius Arch Star Trails, Alabama Hills

Light painting and “stacked” multiple exposures during a hot night in the desert near Lone Pine, California.  The stacking was done in Photoshop CS4 to have a little more control over the light painting and to reduce noise.  This also marks the first time I used Noise Ninja to clean up the noise.  While it wasn’t bad at all, I felt that a little cleaning up was better, so I selectively “de-noised” parts of the photo via layer masking.

Title: Mobius Arch Polaris Star Trail
Info: Nikon D90, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens, Feisol tripod. 65 minutes total, composed of 130 30-second photos, all ISO 1600, f/4.5. Light painted with my handy head lamp.
Photography: Ken Lee
Location: Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, California, USA.

A hot evening, especially when running around “light painting”. But I also had a chance to lay on my back and watch the stars. I actually began dozing off when a car pulled up. You can see some of the light from the head lights on the arch.

The swirling stars are magical, a result of the long exposure of the camera capturing the movement of the stars. Polaris, the North Star, is in the middle, and all the stars appear to rotate around it, this movement, of course, primarily a result of the rotation of the earth.

Mono Lake Reflections – Long Exposure Light Painting

After visiting Bodie ghost town, located north of Mono Lake, I got fish tacos at the Mobil Station in Lee Vining by Vista Drive. I had no idea that this was such a popular hang-out for people coming or going to Yosemite, but it was filled with people hanging out, drinking beer, and talking about their climbs. The fish tacos were good, and I had the ranger at Schulman Grove to thank for this other tip. She had said, “We have a joke here…all the best restaurants in the Owens Valley are in gas stations.” And so it had been again, with the pleasant surprise of having mango salsa on one of the fish tacos.

I continued south after the meal, this time heading to the popular South Tufas instead of the Castle Tufas I had photographed earlier. As expected, there were many photographers there, although most of them left right after sunset. I continued shooting, getting this beautiful dusk shot.

Below:  please click on the photo to view it.  The miniaturization that WordPress is using makes this look awful.  Thanks.

Title: Mono Lake Reflections
Info: Nikon D90, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens, f/11, ISO 200, 30 second exposure. Light painted with a strong flash light.
Photography: Ken Lee
Location: Mono Lake, California, USA.

This long exposure photograph brought out the beautiful colors of dusk even though it looked really dark. There’s this very small window of time in which long exposures seem to bring out the warm colors of dusk even though our eyes cannot really see it any more.

And honestly, let’s face it:  tufas are ugly.  They look like enormous piles of bird crap stacked high.  They’re cool looking because of how the light plays on them, because of the beautiful setting of the lake, and because they’re unusual.  But in the harsh light of day, they’re not exactly the sort of beautiful sculpture of nature that you’d want in your front yard.

Storybook Bristlecone Pine: Night Sky Photography and Light Painting

The bristlecone pines are the oldest living things on the planet, living for longer than 4700 years. It’s fantastic to think that when Buddha or Jesus walked the earth, these trees were already ancient.

Furthermore, after the bristlecone pine finally goes on to that great forest in the sky, the tree can still remain standing for another 5000 years. It is conceivable that trees such as this could have been here for as long as 10000 years.

(please click on image to see it properly, thanks!)

One of the best things about being a night photographer is that you can double your shooting time. When the sun goes down, you can keep right on shooting.

There’s this odd, eerie storybook feel about this photo that really appeals to me, looking perhaps like something on a old children’s novel about witches.

Title: Storybook Bristlecone Pine
Info: Nikon D90, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. 30 second exposure at ISO 1250, f/11
11000 ft/3350 meters in elevation. Light painted with my handy head lamp.

Photography: Ken Lee

Location: Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest near Big Pine, California, USA.

Star Trails Among the Redwoods – Can I Take A Photo While Snoozing?

We can’t go too long without another star trails photo, can we?

Title: Treehouse Star Trails
Info: Nikon D90, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, stacked photos totaling 100 minutes, stacking 200 individual photos of 30 seconds each (ISO 800, f/4). The almost vertical streak near the middle is a shooting star. Light painted the trees by aiming a bright flashlight down on the wooden deck where the camera was. 21 June 2012.
Photographer: Ken Lee

Taking long exposure star trails photos aren’t necessarily always heroic, I’m-freezing-in-the-middle-of-the-night-desert affairs.  The above photo, for instance, was taken not long ago when I was staying in a little cabin called The Treehouse in Guerneville, Sonoma County, California, USA.

I set up my camera on a tripod on the main deck, with the camera looking almost straight up in the sky, right at the tops of the trees.

I “light painted” the trees by pointing my absurdly bright flashlight down at the wooden deck. Why? Because I didn’t want the trees to be really white colored or overexposed by the bright flashlight, and pointing out down at the wooden deck created a much warmer light.  I did this for easily less than a minute, taking up only two individual photos (this is “stacked”, with each individual photo being 30 seconds in length). I piled some furniture in front to keep critters away.

Then….I went to sleep.

The almost vertical streak near the middle is a shooting star.  It’s a one hour, 40-minute exposure in total.  Cool, eh?

 Find out more about star trails photography, including how to stack photos here.

Equipment:  Nikon D90, Tokina AT-X 116 Pro DX AF 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens For Nikon

Featured Quote: Michael Kenna on the Act of Photography Connecting Us To the World

Joshua Tree Star Trails (Ken Lee, night photographer)

Joshua Tree Star Trails.  This is a photo that I (Ken) took in the middle of a warm summer night.  I brought out one of those zero-gravity loungers and looked up at the sky during the entire exposure.  Indeed, as Michael Kenna describes in his quote below, the act of photography does connect us to the world. NIkon D90, 18-200mm VR lens, MC-DC2 remote release cord, and my father’s 1970s Sears metal tripod.

I love this quote and thought I’d share with you.

“Getting photographs is not the most important thing. For me it’s the act of photographing. It’s enlightening, therapeutic and satisfying, because the very process forces me to connect with the world. When you make four-hour exposures in the middle of the night, you inevitably slow down and begin to observe and appreciate more what’s going on around you. In our fast-paced, modern world, it’s a luxury to be able to watch the stars move across the sky.” – Michael Kenna in “Photographer’s Forum Interview” – Winter 2003 by Claire Sykes