WiP: Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forrest at Night

I recently returned from California on a photo trip.

One of the stops was at the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forrest, near Bishop, CA, where I captured this 30 second exposure.

To get this photo, I set up my camera while there was still light from the sun. Then captured a few test shots to see how the framing was, locked the tripod down and ate my dinner.

This is one of the test shots for framing. It is also a 30 second exposure.

Getting the Milky Way next to the tree was due to being prepared. I use an app called Star Walk on my iPhone. There are others, but this is the one I use. Since the app doesn’t need a data connection, only location info, it was able to tell me where the Milky Way was before the sun went down. I then both guessed and advanced the clock on the app to see about where the Milky Way would be in an hour after it was dark. This gave me enough information to line up the frame to get the capture I wanted.

I like the results. The first image only has about 20 seconds of edits in LightRoom, and could use quite a bit more. There is a lot of junk in the frame from other trees in the area. Normally, I would climb the hill to get the right perspective, but, the hill was made of loose shale rock and it was raining. It was not safe enough to take the risk to avoid 20-30 minutes in Photoshop.

So anyways, here is a Work In Progress from a recent trip. I’ll probably have the photos from the trip finished in a few months.


My 100,000th Photo in Lightroom

Yesterday was a big day. My Lightroom catalogue finally hit 100,000 photos. That is a lot.

While I’m still on the road, I wanted to share what this photo looks like.

Milkyway over Mono Lake

This is basically an unprocessed rough draft image that I took last night at Mono Lake. I went to the lake a few hours after sunset to photograph both star trails and the Milky Way. This was one of those photos, and it just happened to be my 100,00th photo.

From this screenshot of my Lightroom file browser, you can see that I have 100,076 files in the catalogue, after just having imported 624.

I knew I would hit this milestone on my trip, so, I took the screenshot as soon as it happened.


The Things We Get Bored By

A few years ago, a coworker of mine looked a photo of a waterfall that I made, and simply said “I don’t like these all white waterfall photos”. When I asked why, he replied “Because you see it too often”.

This comment really stuck with me. We all get to this point eventually, where we get stuck between reproducing the nice images we have seen and wanting to be a bit different, and this comment specifically got to me. Part of the problem was, at that time, I was quite proud of that photo.

Over the years between then and now, I kind of agree. The photo is interesting, and I like it, but I don’t feel like it is anything special, at least not anymore. At one point, photos like this were rare. But over the years, so many have attempted to immitate the photos they saw that were great, but in the process, have lost why they were great.

There is a different waterfall photo from that same trip that I actually think is more special, although my parents hate it.

I actually like both photos, but I’ve always prefered the second of these two. I feel like it is more than just a pretty picture.

Since I get no comments, I’m going back to the “I like both photos” from 2 lines ago. Yes, my preference is for #2, but that is that. A preference.