Milkyway over Tahoe Panorama   © 2008  Dan Newton

I’ve had some pretty heavy bags under my eyes for the past few days as a result of my late night habit of staying out until 3am doing night photography. Last night a buddy and I drove up to Virginia City, NV—a preserved 1800s mining town— and shot an old church.

Old Church in Virginia City, NV    © 2008  Dan Newton

On Monday night I joined a small group of friends for some late night shooting at Lake Tahoe. Our original plan was to try and locate Banzai Rock (in which we failed miserably), so we decided to shoot near sand harbor instead.

The 180 degree panorama on the left is the result of five photos stitched vertically. My D300 was set to ISO 3200 to pull off 30 sec exposures at f/2.8. The lens was a Tokina 11-16mm 2.8.

The very bright ball of light rising above the trees, on the left is Jupiter.

The final photo (below) is yet another star streak photo over Tahoe, taken at the same time as the panorama. I stacked for an hour using 30 second exposures with the 10.5mm fisheye (which I am on the verge of using too much) at f/2.8. The foreground exposure was taken in RAW for 10 mins at f4 (for more depth of field) with noise reduction turned on. The exposures were later combined in Photoshop. Later on, I may post a rectalinear corrected version (meaning the fisheye effect is removed using software) just for fun. The photo isn’t finished, if you look closely you can see plane streaks and I’m not too sure about the color.

An Hour of Lake Tahoe     © 2008  Dan Newton

Well, thats all for now, comments welcome…

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  1. Asa
    on July 3rd, 2008

    DAMN, but that vertical pano is FINE!

  2. Randy Jones
    on July 9th, 2008

    Excellent images, very creative.

  3. noart
    on July 12th, 2008

    I’m not a big fan of curved straight lines (a-la fish-eye), but combined with the curved star-trails they look fine! I like the last image very much, congrats!

  4. wolfy
    on September 12th, 2008

    that vertical shot is rad.


  5. Dennis
    on September 20th, 2008

    Yoy take some really great photos. I will return often to check out your work. Keep up the good work.

  6. sfr3e
    on November 11th, 2008

    Will an interval timer shooting mode help if there is no cable release available for star trails photography?

  7. Dan Newton
    on November 11th, 2008

    Yes, you can use your camera’s interval mode (if it has one). I’ve done it in a pinch, but a remote release or remote invervalometer is easier.

  8. tamsyn
    on June 2nd, 2009

    O man, i just got back to new zealand from tahoe, its the perfect spot for taking pics, u seriously did an amazing job with these!!! 😀

  9. Jon
    on August 12th, 2009

    Hey, just stumbled across this site – really great stuff. I’m curious about “stacking” those 30 sec exposures. Does the D300 have a built in intervalometer? It sounds like you’re using an external intervalometer – what one do you use? For taking 10 min. exposures, I’ve had issues with my D80 gettting severe purple corners anywhere over about a minute. Is this true with the D200?

  10. Leanne Morrison
    on November 5th, 2009

    Amazing! Very talented.
    How can I get a copy of that beauty!

    Cheers, Leanne

  11. Julie
    on July 5th, 2010

    These photos are amazing, I particuarly like the fish eye. I’m thinking about getting a fish eye lense and was just looking up some photos, you sold me on it, going to order it tonight ;).

  12. sandy
    on November 29th, 2010

    Awesome photos… you’ve inspired me to get back to it!

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  15. Laura
    on April 8th, 2011

    Amazing! It seems that the D300 does a really good job with high ISO shoots. It’s noiseless! I tried shooting some night photos with my Canon 350D (a lower degree camera) at 1600 ISO, and the color noise was really notorious.

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  17. Cara
    on September 6th, 2011

    I would like to buy a copy of the vertical Milky Way photo. If you are interested in selling it, please email me with a price. Thank you.

  18. Dan Newton
    on September 11th, 2011

    Email sent, thanks!

  19. Andy Pips
    on September 11th, 2011

    Very nice work indeed. The vertical panorama is stunning 🙂

  20. Aris
    on October 8th, 2011

    Stunning photo (Vertical) I love it!

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  23. Orly
    on March 10th, 2013

    Wow! Fantastic photos there. I love night photos and hope to start doing a few myself now that I have a half decent camera. Love love love the Milky Way!

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