You and I are on a special journey together, uncontrollably spinning our way through the universe.
We have no idea where we’re going, when we’ll get there, or why we’re going at all.
At least, we have each other on this journey, if nothing else.
When I forget that, I can feel alone and overwhelmed.
Untethered, I drift between stability and chaos.
Bouncing aimlessly between the two.
Then, you grab me and hold tight.
Until I return to solid ground.
(This is my first, half-assed attempt at star trails with my Nikon. It was the end of a long day, plus it was chilly out. The next one will be better.)
I was a little confused when I woke up this morning because a couple of people had messaged me to congratulate me on my photo being on the front of Bing today. I had no idea they featured photos, or why mine might be on there. Then I remembered someone licensed this photo from me recently.
Since there might be some more eyes on my work today, I’m going to plug some stuff.
Right now you can learn photography from myself and Shannon Kalahan through Light and Landscape Magazines new paid members area. We are available to answer all your questions, we have lesson plans, and we critique photos with advice on how to improve them. At $21 a month, its a hell of a limited time deal. Just follow this link if you’re interested in signing up – http://www.lightandlandscape.co/learn-with-shannon-and-david?cd=2
Shannon and I also have a funny and educational ebook available through Light & Landscape Magazine on iOS devices (as a special issue), or you can buy it directly from us here.
Finally, if you might be interested in critiques of your iPhone photography, I may be starting up a small group for a reasonable price. Let me know if you might be interested. I’d be available to guide you in your editing process by telling you what apps you might want to use, how to use them, what composition would be strongest, and also available to answer any questions you have related to iPhone photography and editing. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested or have questions.
This was from a couple of months ago, on the best night of astrophotography of my life. I had good company, and great conditions. We were able to hit a handful of amazing spots on the Oregon coast.
This particular photo was taken from the Arch Rock parking lot in Boardman state park. It wasn’t really on the shot list, but I had planned to meet back up with Michael Shainblum there after Mark Metternich showed me his free stealth campsite. I decided to quickly take a few shots before we moved up the coast near the Pistol river.
Yesterday, I was having trouble coming up with a title for this one, but today, it came much easier. That’s because my recent astro photos have several people around here wanting to take an astro workshop with me soon.
At some point, we all need a little help to get wherever it is we’re trying to go. I’ll let you in on a little secret. All of the talented photographers that I know have sought help at one time or another. That can be in the form of workshops, video tutorials, books, or good old fashioned discussion with their peers.
I often seek the opinion of my peers, and I’m always on the lookout for tutorials that I think I could benefit from. Knowing what you don’t know is an important thing in photography, and its equally important to know how to fill the gaps in your knowledge.
The northern lights were visible last night, so I made my way up to Mt Ashland with another photographer. They were pretty awesome when we first arrived, then they faded a bit about an hour later. No problem! The milky way put on a show too.
I knew Oregon was a great spot for landscapes and waterfalls, but I had no idea the astrophotography could be so awesome too. I have quite a few interesting shots from the mountain, so I hope you’re ready to see some astro shots this week.
This is a 9 shot vertical pano taken with my Nikon D7000
Southern Oregon Stars shot with iPhone 5s
Lately, I’ve been in a creative rut. I haven’t been motivated to shoot, or edit anything new for a while. I was already starting to slide into a little bit of a rut, and then I got an infection that made me feel terrible and took away all my energy. Funny how feeling awful prevents you from being creative or productive.
Actually, its not that funny. I have things to do.
Last night, my girlfriend needed to go for a drive, and asked me to go along. I wasn’t feeling well, and had no idea where we were going, so I didn’t bother bringing my Nikon. Thats a rookie mistake, especially when I’ve been wanting to shoot the milky way lately. Well, we ended up driving out to applegate lake. I hadn’t been there at night before, and I was stunned at how dark the sky was. We could clearly see the milky way with our naked eyes. It was pretty amazing.
With the countless stars before me, I finally felt like shooting. Since the best camera is the one you have on you, I decided to try my luck with some iPhone astrophotography. I tried longexpo pro and slow shutter, but neither one gave me good results. I’m sure it was my fault, though. I was trying to do 15-30 second exposures. To say there was a bit of noise would be an understatement.
I ended up taking this photo with 645 pro because I wanted full control of the camera. Then, I did a quick edit in snapseed to brighten the stars a bit. No, its not the best photo, but I thought it was pretty cool that I could even get all these stars with a half second exposure on the iPhone.
After seeing the milky way last night, I’m tempted to sleep all day today and head out somewhere tonight with my Nikon.
I grew up in a city where we were denied the opportunity to see just how vast the universe is. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the Milky Way in Big Sur. My perspective shifted immediately.
As I stood up on top of the mountain at Crater Lake on Tuesday night, I found myself not just staring in the direction of the aurora borealis, but up…in all directions. The amount of visible stars up there is amazing. Even more amazing is sharing the moment with photographers that are passionate about astrophotography. I’m very inexperienced, when it comes to astrophotography, but I know how to use my camera, and how to experiment.
I’m not the most excitable person, but I was excited the other night, as I watched the clouds clear, and move like waves on the horizon. I can’t wait to see the timelapses that a few of the guys were shooting.
Now, I feel like I should go play beneath the stars more often. Especially, since I met a couple of locals that are passionate about it, and good at what they do. You should go check out their work on instagram @steezyphotos and @matthewnewmanphotography. They both got killer shots at Crater Lake too, including a 14 image pano by Matt.