A Cold Night in Heaven

My car’s outside thermometer read 23 degrees and the wind was howling. I was six days on the trail and “dog-tired” from hiking out of the Grand Canyon earlier that day, so what better way to spend a couple of hours that evening than hanging out in the dark and blustery cold to photograph star trails? Call me crazy!

Maybe the relentlessly clear (boring) skies could be used to good effect. I started in late “blue hour” before the sky was completely dark which explains the light on the horizon at left as the last bit of daylight. That allowed me to photograph the terrain as something other than a black silhouette and kept some color in the sky. (Long sky exposures inevitably show the tracks of running lights from commercial jet aircraft. Later, in processing, I removed those and all but one of several meteor tracks from the image.) After the long exposure period I hustled back to the lodge for a long night’s sleep in a heated room and a real bed! Luxury!

All Photographs © 2020 John Grusd Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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