03/07/13 Featured Arkansas Photography–Midnight skies looking south from the summit of Mt. Magazine
Taken with a Nikon D800e, iso 250, Nikon 14-24 lens @ F4.5, final image is composite of 50 minutes of 2 minute stacked exposures. I had been to Mt. Magazine a about a week earlier but was still learning about the place. The small ceder tree to the left is a famous landmark on Mt. Magazine and has been recently adopted by the Mt. Magazine lodge as their emblem on all signage. It’s a easy shot, but tends to be over run with people most times during the year. On this night with temperatures ranging about 25 degrees, I didn’t have too much to worry about in regards to people, however I did need to watch out for ice. The bluff line drops down about 80 to 100 feet about 5 feet in front of where I had the camera. On this night the moon was more of a hindrance then a help as I was near full, just two days past full and very high in the sky. The day had been very hazy and some of the haze can be easily seen in the distance against the horizon line. The town in the distance is called Havana, not sure where the name came from and the lake in the foreground is call Blue lake. All my night work is now shot in stacks since I get so much more control over the final product. For some reason I still had some gaps that I didn’t expect so I am starting to feel that the Nikon D800e might be buffering out with a long series of raw files, but I need to test this in a control to make sure. The gaps can be easily fixed with Startracer software so I am no worried. However I still managed to somehow touch the tripod and move it so that last few stacks were out of line. This image represents a 50 minute time frame and I took the individual stacks as 2 minute images. This gave me the best balance of star light against the very bright moon. However I still added a dark short frame that I took towards the end of the series which helped a lot in closing down the moonglow to the left of the image. This shot is looking due south and the pattern of the trails was a pleasant surprise for me.