Taken with a Pentax K1 in three vertical segments of 4 exposures each, LR used for HDR conversion to 3 vertical segemnts, Stitched in Lightroom into single 3 part panorama, ISO 100, F11 Pentax 15-30mm Lens @ 17mm.
In the late summertime of September, the Arkansas skies can surprise you. Many times you will find a pure blue sky about 1 hour before sunset, only to see some light cloud cover roll right as the sun sets. On this evening, I was able to catch some of this at Sam’s Throne. I had hoped to have clear skies as I was going to stay for a while after dark and work the Milky Way with the Pentax Astrotracer feature, but the sunset was a added bonus for sure.
Sam’s Throne is one of the premier climbing spots in Arkansas due to the bluffs that run for over 1 mile. The rock is a type of sand stone and and during the sunset will take on an orange color. The rocks are also covered with a bright orange lichen, one that I have really only found in this part of Arkansas. So at the times of bright and intense light, the rock of the bluffs can really stand out. I like to work from a spot where you can catch both the true throne (the smaller peak in the center of the image) and pick up the bluff line. During the late summertime the sun will set just off the bluff through the trees and can add a wonderful effect as it will accent the pines at the top of the bluff line.
This photograph, is quite a composition as it was taken in 12 frames, 4 from each station in a short panorama. I then blended each segment with Lightroom’s HDR tool into a 3 dng files, that were then combined into a 3 part panorama. This allowed me to capture both the brightest highlights in the shot and keep the noise out of my shadows. The green of the trees was just perfect on this evening, just a bit of yellow starting to show up in the tops. There were a few trees already starting to go into a full color display, but these were more towards the top of the bluff.
You can pick any of hundreds of spots to work at Sam’s. In this shot, you can see on the left side the same bluff line as it has worked around the hillside. I sometimes like to work from that spot also as you can still capture the sunset and you have a different perspective of Sam’s.
It takes about 2.5 hours to get to this part of Arkansas from Little Rock, and the drive north from Russellville is well worth it, especially in the Spring and Fall when the trees take on very unique colors.
08/08/16 Featured Arkansas Landscape Photography–Milky Way over Buffalo Point, Buffalo National River
Taken with a Pentax K1 and 15-30mm lens @ 15mm and F 3.2 ISO 3200 for 2 minutes using the Pentax Astrotracer function in camera.
This was my first test for night photography with the Pentax K1, and overall I was pleased with the results from the Astrotracer feature in camera. This photograph is a combo from a 2 minute Astrotracer shot for the MilkyWay, and several different shots for the foreground at various times. I used a small lantern down by the bluff to add some local illumination.
Chris Kennedy and I worked for about 2 hours, starting with a very clear night sky and temperatures around 89 degrees with 100% humidity. 2 hours later the temperature was about the same, so I was sweating just standing around waiting on the camera. But there was little to no wind so I was able to pull a nice reflection of the bluff on the river and if there had been a bit more water or a better angle by me, I might have gotten a Milky Way reflection.
Buffalo Point is one of the more popular spots on the Buffalo River, and the only campground with full electric hookups, so it will always be crowded in the summer months. You can either reserve a campground in the lower camping loops or you can try to get a spot in loop A, where it is always first come first serve, and loop A is the original WPA worked sites. I hope to get back to work this place in fall, both for the Milky Way and later on for Star trails. Star Trails will be a bit more difficult due to the location of the moon and due north.