In a lonely valley near rural Alturas, California, miles away from sky polluting lights of the city, the setting sun illuminates a dusty Ranch. Among the rusty Buicks and grazing livestock stands a decrepit, single-roomed school building complete with a creaking door, broken paned glass windows and occupied by an ecosystem of eight-legged nocturnal crawlers.
It was there, on the dusty floor lined with torn Jehovah’s witness brochures and the occasional playing card, that we slept.
Above: Clocking in at 7 hours (stacked), this shot of an old single room school building is the longest star trails shot I’ve done thus far. Specs: Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm, 70 x 6min = 7 hours, f/4, ISO 500.
A Coleman lantern illuminated the inside and a red gelled flash light painted the exterior. Thanks to Jon for the superb light painting.
Above: This was the scene at sunrise near the main house on the Ranch. Due to a slight oversight on my part (stupidity), I didn’t have any spare batteries and since my seven hour exposure had just finished my battery, I had to frantically “get creative” with ways to warm up my battery to squeeze out a few extra photos of the quickly approaching sunrise. Meanwhile, Jon happily took his time composing, focusing and exposing with his completely battery free 4×5 camera setup.
Specs: Nikon D300, Nikon 17-55mm 2.8, 1/100th, F11, ISO 400, battery life = 1% !
Above: At 5:00am my alarm went off to remind me to turn off my camera and prepare to shoot the sunrise. I bundled up, stepped outside into the brisk ranch air and as I turned my camera off, I looked up. This is what I saw. In the larger version of the photo, you’ll notice the galaxy Andromeda a few degrees above and to the left of the point on the roof of the house.
Specs: Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm, 30 seconds, f/2.8, ISO 800. I ran around like an idiot trying to paint the house with a flashlight during the 30 second exposure.