The other night, +Brian Bonham and I threw the dice and tested our luck at shooting the stars over Crater Lake. We spent the entire day with +Brad Sloan , shooting the lake from various locations with part of the intent to scout locations for the night shoot. When Brian and I returned to the park that evening, the sun had just set and we were greeted with a beautiful medley of colors. For the next two hours to so, we resigned ourselves to testing out different framing options and cracking jokes at each other’s expense. And right on cue, starts began to form. At first, we pointed out one here and there. Soon, the entire sky was dotted with them. Constellations became visible and then the Milky Way appeared, stretching the span of our sky. Brian and I proceeded to photograph for about 3 hours, comparing and collaborating – and dealing with the occasional light flare up from traffic or a flashlight.

At the time that I was processing these images, I was in a hangout with Brad and +Mandy Sloan. I saw some weird luminance in my shot and I couldn’t figure out what it was. I shared my screen and asked Brad and Mandy to take a look. In situations like this one, I tend to seek some confirmation due to my Red/Green colorblindness.

Much to my surprise and glee, both Brad and Mandy confidently confirmed that it looked like I had captured an aurora caused by the eruption of a solar flare from one of the sun’s larger sunspots. It was one of those moments of extreme satisfaction tinged with a bit of regret because I would have loved to have seen the colors of the aurora both in the field and when I was processing. Often times, I am asked what something made up of colors that I can’t see looks like. While I appreciate the nature of curiosity and inquisitiveness, it does bum me out in a small way to know that I can be missing out on a potentially beautiful event.

Still, I do find myself returning to the memories of staring up at a sky brimming with so many little dots of light and am reminded that, really, things are pretty damn amazing even if a small portion of the color spectrum is not all that perceivable to me. :)

Enjoy the week, everyone!

In terms of processing
Very little was done to this image. I added two effects here – one was some slight Tonal Contrast onto the foreground to bring out the shadows and then a global layer of Rich Glow to add some deeper blacks in the sky.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.1

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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