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Hello Milky Way core!

Yesterday, I drove over 200 miles to the edge of the Great Basin Nat’l Park (a very dark, Bortle Class 1 area) to start recording the MW core rise at 4:42am. Nothing interesting in the foreground (in fact, I purposely chose a flat area so it would not obscure the very low and horizontal core area). I just wanted to see my old “Friend” again after a long winter! (BTW, that’s Jupiter in the top right corner.)

I live near the 40th parallel, so the MW core h...ad already appeared last month, during the New Moon period, but only for a few minutes. Yesterday, it was above the horizon for over an hour before the Astronomical Twilight kicked in and it started to fade away. Next month, during several days around the New Moon, it will appear for over 2 hours each morning.

EXIF: Canon 5DMk3 • Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 @ 15mm • 201 seconds (tracked), f/4.0, ISO 1600

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My New Year's gift to YOU: free download of my 13-month "Starry Night Quotes" calendar. Let me know what you think of the concept (images with inspiring quotes). http://intothenightphoto.blogspot.com/…/starry-night-quotes…

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Milky Way over “The Watchman” ~ Zion National Park, Utah. Check out all 13 Starry Night Quotes in my 2018 “Finding Darkness in Rural America” Calendar (if your on a mobile device, be sure to click “Read more…). https://www.kickstarter.com/…/milky-way-and-starry-nights-c…

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Here’s my #FindingDarkness “Light Pollution Awareness Chart” that you can freely share with others on social Media. It accurately simulates the effect of light pollution on a starry night sky as one goes from a Bortle Class 1 sky to a Bortle Class 9 sky. As you can see, even in the red "City to Suburbia Transition" zone, light pollution overpowers all but a few of the brightest stars! I made this chart for the back cover of my 2018 “Starry Night Quotes” calendar. https://www.kickstarter.com/…/milky-way-and-starry-nights-c…

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“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.” ~ John Muir. Taken from the cover of my 2018 “Starry Night Quotes” calendar. Star reflections in alpine lake, High Uintas Wilderness area, Utah. EXIF: Single Exposure. Canon 5DM3 • Canon EF15mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens • f/3.5, 30 sec, ISO 6400. https://www.kickstarter.com/…/milky-way-and-starry-nights-c…

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Royce Bair updated their cover photo.
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Moon & Venus… I took this crescent moon aligned with the planet Venus on July 20 at 4:54am during the Nautical Twilight. There were a few thin cirrus clouds in the sky to add interest. EXIF: Canon 5D M3 with a Canon EF70-200mm f/2.8, @ 200mm, f/4, 1 sec, ISO 400.

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Royce Bair added a new photo.

…from my shoot last week in Cathedral Gorge, Nevada. The skies are incredibly clear and dark here in this remote area of eastern Nevada, with very little light pollution coming from the small towns of Panaca on the left and Caliente on the right. @LowLevelLighting used to enhance the foreground of eroded spires in a bentonite formation —the absorbent aluminium phyllosilicate clay in this mountain makes great cat litter-LOL. EXIF: a stack of 9 exposures (for noise reduction) using a Canon 5DM3, Tamron 15-30mm @ 19mm, f/2.8, 13 sec, ISO 8000

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Eroded Dreams… Cathedral Gorge, Nevada. I just returned last week from a little known area in eastern Nevada. These awesome features were photographed under a quarter moon with 5 hidden @LowLevelLighting lights. EXIF: Canon 5DM3, Tamron 15-30mm @ 15mm, f/4.5, 30 sec, ISO 1600.
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Royce Bair shared a post.

My "quickie" method for star trails (1 long exposure, rather than 100's of 30-sec exposures)...

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Royce Bair

Star trails over Mexican Hat Rock, Utah. Shot last week with my friends, Roger Nedel and Steve Bunderson. This is my down-N-dirty “quickie” method for making st...ar trails: a single, 1-hour (3600 seconds) exposure @ f/5.6, ISO 160, with the camera’s “Long Exposure Noise Reduction” function turned on. See pages 6 & 62 of my eBook (www.NightScapeBook.com) for more details. #nightscaper

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Royce Bair shared a post.

Love the early Spring Milky Way...

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Royce Bair

Milky Way rising behind Castle Butte, Valley of the Gods, in the new Bears Ears National Monument, Utah. Taken just a few days ago at 3:45 on a blustery morning... that blew over my camera and tripod before I could weight it down! Thanks to Steve Bunderson for the rescue! Despite that, the clarity and darkness of this remote region is incredible. This area is very similar to Monument Valley, but without the crowds and is much less light polluted! A single exposure taken with a Canon 5D M3, using a 24mm Rokinon f/1.4 @ f/2, 13 sec, ISO 6400. #nightscaper

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Low Level Lighting (LLL) adds about 0.008 lux surface illumination. This is slightly more than starlight alone and less than a quarter moon at 30 degrees elevation. Learn more at our public service website: LowLevelLighting.org

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Great photography and prints —with 30% going to help Save Bonanza Flats!

FEB23
Thu 5:00 PM MSTSwaner Preserve and EcoCenterPark City, UT
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Living the dream...

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Royce Bair

Milky Way over Chimney Rock - Capitol Reef Nat’l Park, Utah. Last May, with the help of two friends, Al & Vivek, I was finally able to accomplish a dream I’ve h...ad for many years: photograph the rising Milky Way core over Chimney Rock. To get the effect I wanted, it had to have artificial lighting to bring out the structure and texture of this natural butte.

I like to use LowLevelLighting.org (LLL) whenever possible, but in order to correctly light this 580 feet high rock, my 2 F&V Z96 LED panel lights had to be placed about 1,000 feet away and running full power —hardly qualifying for LLL status! Now, the amount of light reaching the rock was only about 0.01 Lux (and left on during the whole camera exposure), so that part does qualify for LLL. Luckily, we never saw another soul during the 2 hours we were there, so we disturbed no one.

EXIF: One exposure with a Canon 5D Mk iii, Tamron 15-30mm @ 15mm, 25 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400. All lighting was done during the 25 sec exposure. Image cropped from landscape to portrait for this Instagram presentation (equivalent to about a 24mm vertical format). See previous post for a comparison of exposure techniques. #NightScaper

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A quick tutorial...

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Royce Bair

3 techniques for Chimney Rock, Capitol Reef Nat’l Park, Utah. You be the judge.

1) A single 25 sec exposure @ f/2.8, ISO 6400. 2) A 100 sec exposure to increase... foreground detail, blended (via Photoshop layers) with the previous exposure of the sky. This is the “natural” method preferred by many, but because starlight comes from overhead and all around, it is like photographing with an overcast day (very flat, with little character). 3) A single exposure @ f/2.8, 25 sec, ISO 6400, with artificial lighting strategically placed (see my next post for more details).

#2 could have been done using low angle moonlight, but the star and moonlight exposures would have been many hours apart, and there are only 2 days a month where the angle is even somewhat correct. Mixing a twilight exposure was would have been a fairly worthless option here because we are facing southeast and a northwestern twilight would have also given flat lighting. #NightScaper

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Looking up through the trees...

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Royce Bair

"The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness." - John Muir.

This was my view last summer, looking up through the trees, from a clearing al...ong the Chief Mountain Highway, near the Montana / Canadian border. One exposure with a Canon 5D Mark III, Tamron 15-30mm @ 15mm, 25 sec, f/2.8, ISO 5000.

I had been at Many Glacier, in Glacier Nat’l Park, with a few of my friends and cloud cover had kept us from getting any stars over Swiftcurrent Lake. My friend, J.K., grew up in this area and suggested we try a spot about 20 miles away, north of Chief Mountain. We arrived at about 1:00am to partial clearing. By 2:30am, we were able get some great shots. It wasn’t the view of Mt Grinnell and the Milk Way reflecting in Swiftcurrent Lake that we had wanted, but seeing the stars through the crisp silhouettes of the trees was an amazing experience I’ll not soon forget. There was unique a connection between the trees and the universe that made you feel as if you were part of a well-laid plan. #NightScaper

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Astro-Landscape Photography podcast with Royce Bair...

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Royce Bair

Brendon Porter and Aaron King of Photog Adventures share a 66-minute podcast interview they did with me last week about astro-photogrpahy. It’s "Royce Bair | Episode 18." Go to PhotogAdventures.com or use this direct link: http://www.photogadventures.com/…/podcast-talking-astrophot…