Starry night

Starry night

Okay, so I will not be able to do a single-exposure star trails photo for the rest of the time I am here.  The moon is nearly full, and will be up pretty much all hours of night, rising in the late afternoon and setting just before dawn.  The light pollution produced from the moon was simply too much, even shooting a silhouetted formation.  It simply makes the sky too bright.  So, my next effort at star trails will actually be to take the images from my next and final attempt at a long-term time lapse.  With the bright moon, that will make it easier to get the right exposure for the nighttime portion of the time lapse to work, and I spent a good part of my midnight sojourn into the moonlight landscape to figure out those settings.

But, I figured, why not take advantage of the brightly-lit Badlands and get out there to produce some moonlit, starry landscapes.  Since the moon is merely shining reflected sunlight, I set my white balance at daylight, with ISO at 800, shooting my 24-85mm at its widest focal length, and wide open at f/2.8 for an 8-second exposure.  I wanted the shorter exposure time to minimize or eliminate star movement.  At 24mm, it woulud not be noticeable at 8 seconds, but it would be at 30 seconds.  So, I used the higher ISO setting to allow for the shorter exposure time.  I stuck to pretty much the pullouts between around Old NE Road and the Fossil Trail parking lot.  Here is a sample of what I captured in about an hour and a half.  Time for bed.  Sun comes up in less than four hours.

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