This is a slightly different post about Death Valley. As is self-evident, this image is of the night sky. I must issue a full disclaimer that I have never done any night sky photography prior to this shot, save for one set of a handful of exposures in Connecticut that were badly affected by the stray light that is prevalent in CT’s night skies. Also, I have much to learn about post processing of night sky photographs. With all that said, you cannot go to Death Valley without marveling at the incredible brightness of the skies after dark. There are simply stars everywhere. Death Valley is considered one of the places with the darkest night skies that you can find. To give a sense of what it’s like, I awoke one morning in my tent, with only the mesh opening above me obscuring my view, as well as my poor vision without my glasses, and even without my glasses, I could clearly discern the Big Dipper above me through the mesh. It’s simply incredible!
Getting back to this image, I went up to Twenty Mule Team Canyon Road very early one morning to climb the hills there to get some sunrise shots (see Death Valley Part One). This was about one hour before sunrise, looking east/southeast. The brightness on the lower left of the horizon is the sun getting in position, but still over an hour prior to actual sunrise. The Milky Way is visible where the horizon rises on the right and moving across and to the left of the frame. It continued fully across the sky. What is shown here is but a small portion and this is with a 14mm extreme wide angle lens! Again, I will point out that my post-processing skills for shots of this type need to be enhanced!
- Sony A7r
- Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens (Canon EF mount with Metabones IV adapter)
- f/2.8 @ 21 secs., ISO 1600
- Tripod and remote release employed