Four Years in the Making

Orion-Whitney300x188This image shows the constellation Orion floating above Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the continental United States, framed by the iconic Möbius Arch.  It took over fours years from conception to curating.

The key to this image’s success lies in several concurrent requirements, starting with the eastern escarpment of California’s Sierra Nevada being perfectly oriented to catch the first light of the new day. At sunset, its entire eastern face is in deep shadow and this image doesn’t work.

Next, as we face to the west, we have the juxtaposition of Orion with the eastern Sierra crest, including Mt. Whitney, in the precise moments when there is sufficient light from the imminently rising sun behind our back to illuminate the mountains. Second, the stage of twilight is such that there aren’t an overwhelming number of stars visible; Orion clearly stands out. These dual requirements limit the window of possible shooting times to literally just a few minutes!
Orion-Whitney (1)
Third, the altitude of Orion through the portal of Möbius Arch must such that it creates a pleasing composition while not blocking any of the key image constituents. This latter requirement, coupled with the timing within twilight, results in its availability for only a few weeks of the year!

Finally, we have chosen the correct focal length lens, foreground subject distance and depth of field to ensure a pleasing framing by an in-focus Möbius Arch.

Join us! In our new Nightscape Photography class you will learn how to reliably create shots like this one by understanding the key points of both astronomy and photography!

– BPSOP Instructor: Mike Shaw

Mike Teaches: Star Trails & Night Photography 

“I just wanted to thank you for another wonderful class. I have to confess that each week when I read the new assignment, my first reaction was mild panic and a deep certainty that I would not be able to produce anything worthwhile that fit within the parameters you had set. But before I knew it, the ideas started to flow, and I quickly became obsessed (no, that isn’t too strong a word!) with exploring the possibilities. I can honestly say that the photos I produced in response to your assignments are among my favorites. Thanks for bringing out a creative side I didn’t know I had!”

Barbara Geiger
Understanding Color

“Thank you so very much for this course! It’s allowed me to take the blinders off and present my images for what I want them to be without being a slave to the “reality” of the camera. I would also add that in conjunction with your printing course, this has been the most useful course I’ve ever taken. Your notes are more than comprehensive and your comments and critiques are direct, clear, and always directed to the improvement of the art.”

After the click

” I want to thank you for this class and for your patience and availability to answer all of my questions. I have learned very much through this class. I have used LR in the past, but mostly for editing images. I now have a better grasp in the organization of my images, an even better understanding of editing images, and an understanding of the value of presets. I still have a lot to learn, but this has put me on the road to be able to improve my photography. Again, thank you! ”

Dale Yates
Lightroom Quickstart

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