The Milky Way rising the night before last at Mono Lake or Lot’s Wife, Still Looking.

The Milky Way rising the night before last at Mono Lake  or Lot's Wife, Still Looking.

I just returned from a photography outing to Mono County on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. My pal Marc Chaton accompanied me on the trek. Saturday evening we went to the shore of Mono Lake to work on sunset photos and perhaps to do some light painting of some tufa towers. I did a considerable amount of light painting of some sand tufa while Marc prepared some burritos for us in my trusty Roadtrek camper van. After supper Marc wanted to experiment with taking photos of the abundant stars overhead. We discussed some of the technical challenges of doing so.

I realized that my knowledge of observational astronomy was very rusty. I suggested that the Milky Way was perhaps overhead in the still brightening night sky, but I could not even be sure of the location of the summer triangle to confirm my guess. We agreed that we need some direction and help with stellar location. Shortly thereafter, we noticed the approaching beam of a LED head lamp. That person went to the only other car in the area for awhile. Meanwhile Marc kept on experimenting with exposures of the stars. after a while, the person from the other vehicle came over and started talking about astro-photography. It turned out that this person was an expert on the subject. Brad Goldpaint then shared some of his considerable knowledge about locating nebula, stars, and constellations. He also shared technical know-how about exposure and lens selection.

Here is one example of some Milky Way imagery that I took on the next night.


About Thomas Bethune

THOMAS ALLEN BETHUNE I have been interested in photography for most of my life. I started taking photographs with a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera when I was eight years old. My early subjects were trains and engineered structures as well as landscapes and family portraits. My interests and vision have matured, but the subjects that catch my eye continue to be of the same genre as my earliest visions. A neighbor man had a darkroom, and he showed me the basics of camera operation and darkroom processing. I took courses in art and photography in high school and college. I worked as an apprentice to a commercial wedding and event photographer, and I was in charge of a recreational dark room while I was in the military. As an adult, I earned a bachelor’s degree in photography from Humboldt State University. My experience with film formats included 35mm, 2 ¼”, and 4”x 5”. I exhibited at galleries near my home in Arcata California, and in Santa Fe New Mexico. All my current work is digital. I am scanning many of my legacy negatives and slides. I sometimes process and print the scanned negatives. I often post them on my blog. I process all of my prints with archival media. An award winning fine art photographer living in a redwood forest. BA Photography Director, Redwood Art Association, Eureka CA Co-curator, F Street Foto Gallery, Eureka CA
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1 Response to The Milky Way rising the night before last at Mono Lake or Lot’s Wife, Still Looking.

  1. Love this! Stars and rocks, so elemental.

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