The first time we went on a mission to shoot the Milky Way, it was to Great Basin National Park, in November! Now, for most of you in the northern part of the US, you expect cold, but for us in Southern Nevada, we don’t see ice on the side of the road unless there is a fluke storm in, say, January. It had snowed in Pioche the week before and we were hoping for clear weather and when we got closer and saw this, we weren’t sure how successful the trip would be.
We checked into our motel and went on the hunt for a good location. We went up to the Great Basin Visitors Center but it was closed for the season. They were also doing some renovations to the center. Maybe next time.
We don’t see much snow in Las Vegas, so this was a treat for us! Notice that the sky is now totally clear. Perfect!!!
Another closed road… but beautiful trees with snow.
In scouting around we found this old car… thought it was really cool…. Hummmm…..
We got to our first location before full dark and of course had to give it a try. After all we hadn’t ever done anything like this before. Nope. Way too much sunlight left. We need full dark, not blue hour.
One of the shots I wanted to try was star trails. Got it all set up and did a 20 min shoot. By golly! It worked, AND got some Milky Way in it too. Of course I hadn’t ever shot with a wide angle lens before so got Rick’s truck in it. Its still cool!!!
It is finally dark enough and we start to get the Milky Way! Even if the core isn’t visible in late November, it is still an incredible sight! In the dark skies of the Great Basin, you can see it clear as day in the sky.
This shot was straight up. WOW!
Then we went back to the old car location…. In the dark…all bundled up like Eskimos… and we were going to try some light painting. How hard can it be, right? Ha! Really hard for us beginners!! We had all the right equipment, just not the right experience.
Too much light… Rick in the shot…. Rick still in the shot…. Ok move back….. further… further….oops! trip over a bush and Rick is down!!! Fell right on his face. Plenty of padding with his winter gear, but not for his face. His glasses cut his nose and because he is on blood thinners, it just kept on bleeding. His face was a bloody mess. And I do NOT take a picture of it! What???? When we got back to the truck and he got it somewhat cleaned up, it was just a tiny cut on the bridge of his nose. I still chuckle about it… mostly because I did not get a picture!!!!
Rick is a trooper and we kept on shooting. This was the final shot. Success!! We found the secret combination!
The last shot of the night was another star trails… It was an awesome trip!!!! 🙂