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Milky Way Over Pine Trees Moments Before Moonrise

Milky Way Over Pine Trees Moments Before Moonrise

Last night I went up to Mount Laguna to shoot the Milky Way. This is my first post-worthy Milky Way shot up here this season. While I've been to the desert to shoot the galaxy core several times, I haven't come up here to shoot it until last night. Well, I did try to shoot in the night before, but it was too windy and the location I chose - an abandoned barn - didn't work out as planned. So I headed up the mountain again last night and managed to pull off several successful shot. I'll be sharing the rest of them over the next few days.

Instead of my usual Sigma 15mm EX DG fisheye, I decided to use my "nifty fifty" Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. I shot a total of 15 exposures: 5 columns by 3 rows and stitched the images together in Lightroom. Each exposure was shot with a Canon 6D at 8 sec f/2.2 ISO 4000. I generally prefer to shoot these kinds of shots at ISO 3200, but the cooler temperature made me feel comfortable using ISO 4000 and not having to worry about heat-related noise. I didn't have to do a longer exposure for the foreground as the rising moon (out of frame and just barely below the horizon) took care of the foreground illumination naturally.

I really like the look of the pine trees up here. I believe these are known as Jeffrey Pines (Pinus jeffreyi). They're named after John Jeffrey, a 19th century Scots botanist who traveled in Oregon and California and who found the tree in the Shasta Valley of California. These trees are related to ponderosa pines, but the barbs of the pinecones are pointed inward. Ponderosa pine cones have outward-facing barbs. The scent of Pinus jeffreyi is variously described as reminiscent of vanilla, lemon, pineapple, violets, apple, and, quite commonly, butterscotch; This scent may be sampled by breaking off a shoot or some needles, or by simply smelling the resin's scent in between the plates of the bark.

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Photo taken @ L on 22 June 2019 (© slworking2 / Flickr)

Related tags :
 milky way, galaxy, pines, pine, trees, mount laguna, california, united states of america, jeffrey pines, forest, sky, long, exposure, san diego, cleveland national forest

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