The Old Ranch

October 4, 2009 | Category: Nocturnal Photography, Photography

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.

A 7 hour star trail of an old single-roomed school building

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.

Sunrise at the ranch and I've got no batteries!

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% !

The galaxy Andromeda during pre-dawn above the school house.

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.

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6 Comments

  1. Tom Compton
    on October 4th, 2009
    1

    Dan, nice job. all different but love the 5am shot. The sky is spectacular. You are very talented.

  2. Nikon D300 School
    on October 5th, 2009
    2

    […] Base Olympus E 510 camera review by What Digital camera Gadget Base is also a nice resource. The Old Ranch Liquid in Plastic Photography and Words by Dan Newton I found some cool stuff here: The Old Ranch Liquid in Plastic Photography and Words by […]

  3. Just some cool stuff « Uncategorized « Bidwiggle.com
    on October 7th, 2009
    3

    […] The Old Ranch : Liquid in Plastic – Photography and Words by Dan Newton 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. […]

  4. Scott
    on October 7th, 2009
    4

    Looks awesome Dan.

    I’d love to see the ranch in its natural colours like the 3rd image but with the star trails. Just to compare the looks of it too the red gelled shot.

  5. Matt Granz
    on October 23rd, 2009
    5

    I like this as much as I enjoy the long exposure star streak photos you take. I’m really enjoying your website!

  6. Roger Mullis
    on November 6th, 2009
    6

    Dan, if you haven’t considered going pro you really should. You have a great talent. I’m over in the Redding California area and would love to come over on a future night shoot and observe your technique.

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