Sunday, May 12, 2013

The last day in Moab

You have to want it bad.  After a wonderful dinner over at Joan and Richard's condo, we came home and I crashed.  Then I got up at 3:30, grabbed my canine photography assistant, and headed into Arches National Park for some more star photography.  The good news is that the park isn't terribly busy at that time of day.
I had two goals for the morning.  The first was to try and capture the Milky Way, which I had missed on my earlier attempts.  Not perfect, but pretty good.
My second goal was to get a long exposure star trail.  This is a 20 minute exposure looking back at Balanced Rock.  One of the tricks is being able to tell where the stars are going to move.   In this case, I aimed the camera north.  The center of the circles is the North Star.  I have a long way to go on making interesting star trails, but this was an ok first try.
My problem was the sky starting to brighten.  Yet another important component in my education.  I knew sunrise was at 6:10 am.  I figured that twilight would start messing up my lighting about 5:45.  Guess again!  There are three named twilight starts:  Civil, Navigation and Astronomical.  The bottom line is that the astronomical twilight starts a lot earlier.  By 5:00 the sky was starting to wash out the fainter stars.
I gave up on the stars and hung around for sunrise.
Driving home I had to grab a quick silhouette. If you run the f/stop up to 16 or 22, you get a pretty star where the sun is.
Jasper and I drove back to the condo, repacked, and went out with Julie for a hike.  The Fisher Towers hike is one of our favorites, but it was a bit more of a challenge with the dog.  There is one point where you climb down a metal ladder into a little canyon.  Instead, Jasper and I had to climb around and then travel down the canyon.
There were a number of rock climbers up on these spires (tiny specs).  You may have seen the leftmost one on a recent American Express commercial.  A young lady climbs the spire and stands up on top to survey the world.
A great last day in Moab.  Thanks to my loving wife for being so tolerant of my photography habit and to both Julie and Jasper for being such good companions on trips like this.

Cosette is actually better than the dog on this trip, but she stays at the condo and doesn't demand to be exercised.

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