Images of the Night

100823011 Star Trails and the Dana Plateau








Night lends itself to images that are almost otherworldly. Colors appear differently and can be totally unexpected. Details may look surreal. Sometimes, things appear in your photographs that you never saw. For example, when I shot the image above I didn’t see anything that would cause the wide trail.

Night photography can be done anywhere; the mountains, the desert, in your city or even your backyard. My favorite place to photograph at night, though, is in the desert. The stars and the night animals are my company. The only sounds are the yipping of the coyotes. It’s quiet, peaceful and beautiful.

To photograph at night, you need the willingness to begin shooting late (sometimes very late) when there is no hint of sunlight, a bright moon for illumination, the ability to withstand cold (particularly if you photograph in the winter like I do) and good night vision. A tripod and cable release are absolutely necessary as is patience; some of your exposures may be 30 minutes or more.

The image this week is of the night sky above the Dana Plateau and Mt. Gibbs in the eastern Sierra. You’ll notice a wide star trail. What is it? A planet, satellite, meteor or something else? What do you think it could be?


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