For weeks now my oldest daughter has been bugging me to go camping. And every morning on our way to school I would say to her, “Don’t you think it’s a bit cold to sleep in this weather?”. She claimed it wasn’t so and we set a tentative date, pending weather, to do a quick over night trip.
Now I have to be honest, the thought of getting back in a bag for a night was quite exciting for me as well. As you may know, I was raised in the PNW and many of my fondest memories include camping, backpacking or some other form of outdoor activity. And I had been recently complaining that many of the outdoor activities I enjoyed doing had become a thing of the past since Brady was born.
Secondly this trip was going to allow me to try my hand at some star photography. Recently, someone posted a link on Google Plus for Dave Morrow who not only has a fabulous collection of work but also shares his methods for capturing and post processing star photography. I picked up his training collection and I was eager to come up with a location far enough away from the city lights to try and capture more than the 5 stars I see from my backyard.
I finally came to the decision to take the kids to Lake Mineral Wells State Park and by complete chance the weekend we chose to go happened to be one in which the moon rise wasn’t going to occur until after midnight. This provided me with about a 3 hour window for shooting. However due to weather.com’s mis-forcast of the overnight low I was rustling children into sleeping bags long before that window expired. But my kids did manage to allow me to grab a handful of shots before the evening chill was too much for them. None of which I loved, but they did provide me something to work with.Equipment: Nikon D700, Nikon 24-70 Post Processing: Lightroom, Nik Color Efex Pro, Nik Define, Photoshop Shot Info: 20 sec at f 2.8, ISO 2000
This shot was taken maybe 15 feet from our campsite. I was amazed at just how much information my camera picked up. The warm glow on the trees to the left was the illumination from our fire. The white illumination on the branch in the center is from a Coleman LED lantern that was in our tent. The streak in the sky was a passing satellite.