How I Got My Best Starscape.


Location: Big Bear, CA

Reason: I wanted a starscape

Level of luck: 9001

Every year my group of friends has an outing somewhere. 2015's outing was to Big Bear California. Big Bear is a city in the mountains about 2 hour 30min away from Los Angeles. It has mountain biking and fishing on its lake in the summer and snow sports on the mountains in the winter. Anyway so inside the cabin we rented everyone was having a good time singing kareoke, playing super smash brothers, playing pool and a bunch of other things.

Living in Los Angeles the light polution is so bad you can not get a chance of a starscape without the whole city being turned off, and even then sometimes I wonder if that would actually do it. Since Big Bear doesn't have a large city part (it is a large town really) there shouldn't be any light pollution right? RIGHT! I went outside around 8pm to see that clouds were covering the sky. I kept going outside waiting for the sky to open and it did oh boy it did. I dawned my warm clothes and jackets downed some liquid encouragement and went out into the cold (30 degrees F)

This was the first result of going outside but I wanted to try and get a shot of more sky and less trees. So I went back in the house and out into the back yard which had a much larger tree clearing. However there was one large ppine treefilling my frame. It was no worry to me because it became apart of my image.

  • ƒ/3.5

  • 18.0 mm

  • 20 sec

This was on a d5100 using a small tripod from Cowboy Studios. This is not one image, however it is 5 images stitched together in Lightroom to create a panoramic. My crop sensor on the d5100 could only get chunks of the tree and sky in per shot so I had to lay down in the snow and wait for every 20 second exposure to happen, move the camera up slightly using the previous photo as a reference guide. Soon enough I had all the shots and I made the panoramic in Adobe Lightroom.

I went back outside after showing my friends the photos I had take but when I looked up the clouds were already back. It is for this reason I consider this to be a lucky shot because of the weather. I was just in the pocket of time where the clouds opened up allowing me to get this.

I have earned $100 on this photo for entering it in a photography contest at my college which is pretty nice and validated my efforts to be out in the cold for 10min.

If you want to see the rest of the photos click here to be taken to an album on Flickr, and thanks for reading.


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