Star trails over Sunset Arch, Arches National Park, Utah.

Skyline Arch at Night, Arches National Park

After I pushed myself out of Colorado – it was hard to leave!  – I headed over to Arches for a quick ‘run through’ and overnight. I got lucky to get a campsite since they are reservation only now. But some people still cancel. That gave me the opportunity to do star photography after sunset and one sunrise before having to move on…

My favorite is the main image in this blog – star points seen through Skyline Arch. The timing was just 4 seconds on this to keep the stars from streaking at 93 mm focal length. I used ISO 1600 and an aperture of f5.0. When you do these they look really dark on your histogram, but then the night sky is dark!  I ran it quickly through Lightroom’s noise reduction to post here. I’ll work more on this when I return to my office. I also did some dusk images of the arch and plan to combine them with the night sky to see how that looks.

Courthouse Towers at Sunrise, Arches National Park, Utah

Recent crazy storms that ran through the southwest created water-filled potholes, but they dry up quickly in a parched land. I was lucky to find a few and even added 2 1/2 gallons of water to them – my drinking supply – to increase the size but it had no effect! So I worked with what I had – and essentially made a sketch of what I want to look for the next time I return to photograph the Courthouse Towers. The best time is when winter storms or summer monsoons have created deeper and larger pools…

I exposed a lot for HDR and am excited to run them through Nik’s HDR Efex Pro as soon as I get time.

Don’t Forget! Tomorrow, Monday, Nik Software will release their highly anticipated HDR Efex Pro! if you pre-ordered, you have already gotten your copy most likely. If you didn’t pre-order, you will be able to purchase on Monday. Don’t forget to use the code BTHARP for a 15% discount on any Nik Software including the new HDR Efex Pro. If you purchased the complete package after July 25th, 2010, you’ll be entitled to a free copy.

Here’s an addendum to this post, showing the original color shift of the star trails image, and the resulting correction that I made. It was pretty radical!!

After I corrected the color shift results:

(sorry, some image files were lost in a relaunch of my website on a new server in early 2015).


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