People of the Night

I do not mean vampires, although I do hear the howl of coyotes when I am out at night. We decided to travel out on a night with no moon it is the best time to see my new love, The Milky Way. Roy does not need to get jealous because I need him to drive on these dates. If you are interested in finding out when the best time to go and see the milky way is check out the Photopills App Our first stop of the night was off the I10 on Box Canyon road I had a great view of the milky way but any panoramas I would attempt would not work. So plan B head up to Joshua Tree National Park, there is a parking area near the Cottonwood Campground. This is becoming my go to spot when I’m in the park. So what about those people of the Night I mention.

We pull down the road and see one other car and see he is stargazing so we think. After I get set up, and take some photographs I notice that my foreground is not quite in sharp focus. I am also working on nighttime panoramas. I have my nodel rail which keeps the horizon in line. I added a rotator that allows me to advance my camera by a certain number of degrees so it is easier to stitch the pictures together. Before I had this I had to turn on a light and make sure the camera was moved correctly. Special gadgets make life easy. I then notice my foreground wasn’t quite in focus. So I pull out the big light so Roy can illuminate a tree I can focus on. I think at this point I captured the curiosity of the Night person I hear foot steps and a voice what are you shooting? I explained the milky way and some light painting. Like every night time person I’ve met out here in the night he was very friendly and helpful. I asked him what he was doing, he said is is more into astrophotography. He mentioned his set up was to photograph nebulas. Here is his website Orion Bear Astronomy enjoy his awesome pictures. His timer went off and Roy said when you come back he wanted to know what every nebula was.

Pointing at the a Star Cluster

He did return with his pointer and some amazing explanations, Roy said he was only joking he just can not see the shapes in the sky. I on the other hand said please go ahead. The Picture on the right shows the Sagittarius Star Cluster I think. I was just amazed at his knowledge. Unfortunately I got a lot of information all at once and some stuff did not stick. The cluster that I always bring out the pink purple colors is called the Lagoon Nebula. I also learned a few of the constellations that surround the milky way, one of this is the scorpion it does pop out once he traced it for me. I am interested in getting a pointer not sure I am ready to upgraded my camera for an astro set-up. We did talk that I might be able to use my long lens on a tracker and get some of the Nebulas out there. I will make that a next summer project. (JK)

Jupiter rising

Just talking in between shots we looked over and were able to watch Jupiter rising. I was able to capture it just coming over the mountain.

Epic light fail

Later in the evening I was trying to capture Cassiopeia I was not very successful I will however try that constellation later this summer. We also tried some light painting to see if that could bring more attention the the stars, that was an epic fail. I also had as you can see a plane fly through the scene. This was towards the end of the night of the night and the cold was effecting my brains. (my story).

I enjoyed meeting Anthony and was glad that he wanted to share his knowledge with me. We did call it a night and I went over to check his setup and thank him for opening my eyes to the night sky. I am now excited for the Griffith Observatory to open so I can get up close to the stars.

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