Featured image – Wyoming Stars


Wyoming Stars © Mac Danzig


Technical Data:

Camera:  Canon 1Ds MkII

Lens:  Canon 24mm f/1.4 L

Exposure time:  1204 seconds (just over 20 mins)

ISO: 200

Aperture:  f/3.5


Story Behind the Photo:

I always thought this would be a great subject for star trails… Everyone has seen the quintessential sunrise shot here, but I wanted to try something different.   Me being a long exposure/ star trail enthusiast, I am always thinking of the perfect foregrounds for this kind of capture.

I just shot this in March 2009 in Grand Teton National Park… The first time I time I visited this place in autumn of ’08, it poured rain and the cloud cover was 100% all day and night, so I couldn’t even get a sunrise shot, let alone any night time photos…

As luck would have it, the second time was a charm and with the help of a sky devoid of the moon’s light, I was able to get this shot…

When I shot this, Teton NP was pretty much snowed-in with gigantic drifts except for the main road through the park… I rented snow shoes earlier in that day, and at night made the mile-long trek down the closed-off Antelope Flats road through 2 feet of snow in pitch darkness… (snow shoes definitely help, but they don’t stop you from falling through the snow at least once every 5 minutes, if you’re me)    Once here, it was a great feeling to have the area to myself, without a ton of photographers like there would be in the morning during summer time… Coyotes and Owls called back and forth in the darkness during this 20 minute exposure…

This was my first time using my then-newly-acquired 24mm 1.4L and am am very happy with the results… I light-painted the barn itself with a small spotlight for about 2-3 seconds.   It was difficult to get the light painting exactly how I wanted it, because the snow on the foreground, as well as the lighter wooden posts in front of the barn were easily overexposed on my test shots, due to their reflectiveness…   The barn itself absorbed light rather than reflecting it, so it needed much more exposure to the spotlight than the beams in front…  After a few tries, I found the right light-painting formula for this shot.

If it wasn’t so damn cold, I might have stuck it out for an hour-long shot… Oh well, there’s always next year…



thanks for looking


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3 Responses to “Featured image – Wyoming Stars”

  1. Wow. That is the photo I like. Additional thanks to Yout technical data You gave.

  2. This is an amazing image and wonderful technique that you used for the finished product. Thank you for sharing your work with us.

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