Starry Night

First, I need to apologize for my lack of posting lately, it seems that life has been in the way of photographing anything recently.  I’ll try to get out photgraphing more often so I can post more often.

Anyway, recently I’ve been wanting to photograph the Milky Way, and the best time to do it is during or close to a New Moon.  The most recent one was this past Sunday, so Monday night I went up on a hill near Zion National Park to capture our Galaxy in all its glory.  I got up there before sunset to get everything ready for the night’s adventure.  While I was waiting for it to get dark, I decided to get some sunset photos of the surrounding peaks.

Here is the Watchman in all its splendor:IMG_0842.jpg

Also, here is the West Temple, with neighboring Mount Kinesava:IMG_0829.jpg

Not to be out done, but here are the Eagle’s Crags: IMG_0801.jpg

I also chanced upon some wild flowers that were still in bloom:   IMG_0851.jpg

When it came time to actually photograph the Milky Way, I spent the next couple of hours photographing away, enjoying the view of the night sky, and basking in the solitude of the mountain.  When I got home and processed the images, I realized that my camera was out of focus the entire time!  The thumbnails looked great, but at full size every image was fuzzy and out of focus except the sunset shots.

Life can be out of focus sometimes, even though we’re looking at it and everything seems to be in focus and on track, then we view the experiences from a distance or as a thumbnail it seems to be in focus, but when analyzed and viewed up close, its blurry and out of focus and needs to be fixed or done over.  The only real way to change that is to get out there and redo what should have been done the first time, having learned from that mistake and made everything in focus and better all around.

I did the only thing I could do, and that was to go back out and try again.  Even though the moon is waxing and staying up longer, it didn’t affect the images in any way.  In fact it helped.  I was having the same issue as before of having the camera out of focus, so I focused on the moon and got some great shots of the Waxing Crescent Moon.

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The bright star below the moon  on the horizon is actually Venus!  Anyway, I got settled in, and had a small red lantern on so I wouldn’t be stumbling all over the place in the dark.  Well, I later discovered there were some unexpected benefits from that light.  I was also able to fix the focus issue of the camera and got some beautiful shots of the night sky.

Here is the Milky Way in all its beauty and splendor!

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Enjoy!

Kelly

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Kolob Arch Adventure

Last weekend I went to Kolob Arch with some good friends in an overnight backpacking trip.  It was a grueling 18 mile hike from start to finish, but well worth it!  Not only was the view great, but the quality time with friends was amazing.

Anyway, the trip through Hop Valley was awesome!  The landscape is absolutely breathtaking!

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It starts out pretty cool, but the further one gets into Hop Valley, its like, WOW!

IMG_0251.jpgHop Valley

Off in the distance, you can see the pine trees at the end of the valley, well, the trail climbs that hill and looks down on La Verkin Creek Valley. (Seen below.)

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Coming down that hill into La Verkin Creek is a killer, but at dusk?  Oh man!

Early next morning, we took a jaunt over to Kolob Arch and was able to enjoy it at sunrise before leaving on the Lee Pass Trail.

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After this view, it was a long grueling climb up to the Lee Pass Trailhead that ended in exhaustion and exhilaration, happy to have done this hike that I’ve always wanted to do, but who knows if it’ll happen again.  We’ll see.

Enjoy,

Kelly

Zion at Night

On Monday, August 21, I went to Lee Valley on the Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park to photograph the Milky Way.  Well, Mother Nature had other ideas, and it was overcast and looked like a storm was rolling in.  I figured I could get some lightening shots instead.  Well, that didn’t happen either.  What I was able to photograph was some really cool clouds against the distant cliffs of Zion National Park.

IMG_0190.JPGWest Guardian Angel

I was also able to (barely) capture sunset on West Temple because it was so cloudy.

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I also decided to modify one to Black & White.  I think it’s pretty cool, what do you think?

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Here are the images of the night sky with clouds in the foreground.

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Enjoy,

Kelly