BEHIND THE IMAGE: RIO GRANDE MILKY WAY
Rio Grande & Milky Way - Big Bend National Park, Texas, File# 1003643
Link To Original Image
Part of the buildup to my epic ride east around Memorial Day, 2010 I took a few shorter trips to increase my experience riding long distances on a bike. The first major trip I took only a few weeks after acquiring the bike was a trip to Big Bend National Park. I wrote a whole trip report on this ride that’s located here. As I noted in the article, the entire area around Big Bend, NP, is one of the darkest in the whole continental United States. If you looked a night sattelite image of the US, you would see a gigantic black hole in the south texas area. A large region where city or town lights aren’t polluting the night skies. What do you get when you have such pristine night skies? You get lots of stars. If you’re a photographer, that means you get to shoot lots of stars.
As you know, ever since I acquired my Nikon D3, my interest in low light photography has increased dramatically. The camera is simply amazing in its ability to render night scenes at high ISO levels without terrible amounts of noise to deal with. As you know, noise is pretty common when you shoot at high ISO levels. And, you know the whole reason to shoot at high ISO levels is to be able to capture just the dark objects like night stars that otherwise wouldn’t be captured.
Of course, there’s more to capturing night skies than just increasing the ISO setting on your camera. You could always shoot at longer exposures to collect enough light. I do this as a technique when I’m trying to make star trails like these images