Lone Pine, Zion National Park, Utah
Lone Tree growing out of an awesome sandstone formation under the starry skies of Zion National park. Astrophotography has many challenges, not least of which is lighting your foreground subject just right for the composition. Many times I will try to keep things as natural looking as I can using just the ambient light from the stars overhead. But now and then, I will use artificial lighting to bring a worthwhile subject out - as with Lone Tree here. The cliff where i had my tripod set is very steep - surprised I was able to get it to stay there at all, much less get myself further down below it to see the frame and set up the shot. Not easy. To light a shot like this I will set the camera to shoot 25 second exposures back to back while I run off to one side or another with my lights, a small flashlight in this case. This process is repeated a number of times, lots of trial and error to finally get the shot that works. This frame was especially difficult with the cold and steep ledge I was dealing with. Amazingly, it all came together on my second round of shots resulting in the frame you see here. So I happily gathered up my garb at around 1:30 AM and hiked back to my wife patiently waiting in the car ... what a trooper she is!