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on Oct 31, 2012 in Landscape Photography

Pointing Towards the UnKnown

“What if…” I love following what ifs when I’m behind the camera. This last Sunday morning while waiting in the dark for the gang to arrive for our Mono Lake weekend, like normal I was outside with my stare to the heavens. I love stars, grew up in the Sierra on a blanket on warm summer nights watching the heavens. I still do that even though we had a nearly full moon out. Shortly after arriving, the bright moon went behind the Sierra crest and a couple more stars began to appear. At the same time, there were thin clouds floating by. That’s when I had the “what if…” thought go through my mind. So I pulled the camera out.

With 45min max before the sun would start to shine, I didn’t go for “star trails” but rather simple point of light source star shots. With the D4 and 24f1.4AFS, I set up and pointed the camera do north. The lens was set to infinity with gaffers tape holding the focus (in manual, not auto). I set aperture to f/2, shutter speed to 8sec and set the ISO to 3200. Made a click. Too bright, changed ISO to 1600, too bright, changed f/stop to f/2.8 and shot like crazy. Even though the moon was gone from sight, there was enough to give a little life to the clouds and that’s what I wanted. More stars were captured then we could see which I knew would happen. Soon, I had a dozen cameras around me doing the same thing. Simply good times making simple clicks!