The Milky Way towers over the moonlit peaks around the Columbia Icefields
Last Sunday was a productive night, resulting in several 5 Star images in my catalog!
This is another, shot shortly after the Galaxy and Glacier image. In that image the sky was still dark. In this image the sky is beginning to light up with moonlight from the rising waxing Moon.
The peaks are being lit by the Moon, though the valley below is still in moonshadow.
What light there is on the foreground moraines is from starlight, and from the unfortunate wash from unshielded sodium vapour lights on the Icefields Centre. They proudly claim their lights are dark-sky friendly. They aren’t! This is proof.
The top image is a stack of tracked (for the sky) and untracked (for the ground) exposures to create a deep, rich Milky Way over a sharp landscape.
The image is helped by being shot with a filter-modified camera that records the red nebulas along the Milky Way better than stock cameras. That’s why the North America Nebula at top in Cygnus really pops!
This 360° panorama image is a stitch of 8 segments at 45° spacings, each untracked, shot in rapid succession with the same 15mm ultra-wide lens I used for the main image, again oriented portrait, with the frames stitched in PTGui.
I shot it on the road, literally, that leads down to the toe of Athabasca Glacier.
I took the pan just after the image at top, so the peaks are lit more and the sky is bluer with moonlight. The Moon itself is still behind the mountains to the left (east) about to clear the ridge moments after I finished this pan. It was a busy night of getting shots timed right!
But waning Moon nights are superb for nightscape imaging as they provide both dark and moonlit skies but without the immense light of a Full Moon that tends to wash out the sky too much. Waning Moon nights are great for shooting landscape features to the west, as they get lit by the rising Moon after midnight.
P.S.: A tip – hit “Tips and Techniques” under Category at left for more blogs with tips and techniques!
– Alan, September 19, 2014 / © 2014 Alan Dyer