Colorado Plateau Trip: Day 7

Star Trails over White Pocket

Saturday May 8, 2010

It was very cold this morning.  The thermometer in my truck read 30 degrees.  I took two photos during the course of the night — though I know neither will be ideal.  I feel that this location has a lot of potential for star trail shots, but I need more time to experiment with different types of film, different seasons, and different compositions.  The first shot indeed shows the stars, but it is too dark. I should have started the exposure a bit earlier to catch more light in the sky.

I made some observations based on my two star trail shots.  The most dominant star trails occurred early in the evening.   My second shot does not contain stars that have the same brightness.  When I get a chance to head back out there again, I’ll let the exposure run all night long.

In 2009, I shot star trails at this same location under a half moon.  On Provia with a f/5.6 aperture, I was borderline overexposed.  Perhaps shooting under similar conditions with my f/8 panoramic camera would yield a good exposure.

Since the bulk of my shooting was behind me for this trip, photographic experimentation was just fine.

As I left White Pocket, I couldn’t help but think of the potential for this location and my 6×17.  I just need some more time to think through the ideal conditions.

Zion National Park was my next, and final destination.  Zion ranks very high on my list of shooting destinations.  That being said, I have very few photos from there.  It’s a difficult place to do photographic justice.

With massive red and white sandstone cliffs rising thousands of feet overhead, most of the morning and evening light does not make it to the valley floor.

My goal for this trip was to explore the high country on the East end of the park, and make the hike back to Subway again.  This would be my third visit to Subway.  On my previous hikes, I didn’t end up with any photos I was satisfied with.

I made good time, and arrived at the park around 11AM.  I didn’t shoot any photos today, but I did manage to scout out some shots in the high country.

2 Responses to “Colorado Plateau Trip: Day 7”

  1. Randy Gibson Says:

    Ben:
    I’ve really enjoyed these travel / shooting blogs of your trip last year.
    One question: what gear did you use to get the video of you while walking through the canyons, etc. It follows you, is well framed, and not bouncing, like I would expect if you were just holding it on some sort of extension…..

    randy

    • Ben Horne Says:

      Thanks Randy. On this particular trip, I used a Canon Elph digital camera on a zipshot tripod (tent poles) to hold it out in front of me. On my more recent trips, I have a much better video camera (Panasonic TM700), and I use a monopod to extend it in front of me. I carry it with two hands, so I can keep it very stable, despite walking with it. With the elph, I got pretty good at setting up the composition while walking with the camera. With my current camera, I have a flip LCD screen which is a big help!

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