Barn Door Tracker Opportunities

March 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Being in the Land of Enchantment once again, I've decided to tote my barn door tracker, with hopes to capture the winter Milky Way.  The problem is, the moon sets when I would like to be sleeping, for the next string of early work days.  I had three opportunities to capture our amazing galaxy.  I also didn't realize it was just as bright and colorful as it was in the summer night sky.  Near Hondo, New Mexico, the Milky Way spanned North-South...a slightly different orientation compared to summer time - truly amazing, even with my unaided eyes.  During the first night, unfortunately, the wind was very strong, and it took a long time to find a calm spot.  But even the "calm" place I did find was too windy.  I tracked for just over two minutes, and immediately, I saw the benefits of using a tracker, as it let the camera soak in more of our galaxy's beauty...with far less noise in contrast to how I've traditionally captured the galaxy.  All the color I had hoped for was there, but the results were blurry due to the motion blur from the high winds.  This was typical for the other two nights I had.  Apparently, it is the region's windy season.  So, I was hit with both the moon, and the wind.  However, I was finally able to get some nice photos of Sierra Blanca at night, under the stars.  Typically in the daytime, the trees on either side of the highway are several shades darker compared to the mountain, making the shot technically difficult.  But at night, when everything's the same shade, and illuminated by a waxing gibbous moon, the landscape turns out beautifully.  Photos to be posted soon!


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