Milky Way

Looking southwest

Astrophotography is one of those things that requires extra effort. It means staying up late, going somewhere unfamiliar, and fumbling around in the dark for the chance to capture images that may or may not turn out in the end. It's also only an option in the summer because I'm not willing to spend a winter's evening outside freezing my lens caps off. 

So, as my trip neared its end, I realized that—in the grand scheme of things—there really were a minimal number of hurdles standing in my way. It was warm out. The moon was setting in the early evening. And the skies around Lake Tahoe are pretty dark. There weren't even any bugs. 

But I'll be honest: A stronger individual would have made the 20 minute drive up the hill to something more secluded and away from the village lights. Instead, I walked 5 minutes to the unlit soccer field next door to the hotel. My biggest obstacle that evening was the sprinkler system.

This image was made looking southwest—the lakeshore is just on the other side of those trees. The trees are illuminated by a street light, which adds a little interest to what would have been a dark silhouette in the foreground.

While I've stylized the image processing a bit, images like this are pretty easy to make. The hard part is the trial-and-error process of getting the composition right, since it's usually too dark to frame anything up in real time using the camera's finder. 

This image concludes my week long series of Lake Tahoe. Thank you for following along. If you enjoyed this series, please drop me a quick line and let me know (or simply click on the heart-shaped 'like' button below). I am considering additional projects like this in the future and the feedback helps guide the creative process.