I have been working on capturing scenes in very low-light to capture a star-filled sky. On this particular morning, when I made the hike from the campground at Toroweap out to the edge of the canyon, i was a bit disappointed to see the clouds in the sky. It was still very dark, so dark in-fact that I couldn’t even see down into the canyon as I approached the edge, but within minutes a faint glow began to light the canyon walls.
As my vision adjusted to the darkness I could see that the clouds were beginning to lift and as they did, they were being lit by the moon which was had just dipped below the horizon. Using a long-shutter speed and fast aperture (fast for landscape photography) I was able to make an exposure with just enough light to see into the canyon while preserving the sky above, including stars!
For those of you interested in the technical details…I created this image using a Canon EOS 5D Mark II paired with a Nikon 14-24mm lens. The camera settings included ISO 400, a shutter speed of 5 seconds and an aperture value of approximately f/4. I wanted to avoid a longer shutter speed in order to preserve the natural shape of the stars. A longer shutter speed would potentially would have resulted in a longer star-trail.
I’ll be giving away an 11″x14″ fine art print of this image to one lucky person. Leave a comment below, or on my Facebook fan page, and you’ll automatically be entered into the drawing which will be held on Monday, December 6th. Good luck!