Film always was a challenge due to having to wait for the film to be developed etc.... no quick feedback at all. So, with the advent of the Digital SLR I have been salivating/dreaming about doing some long exposures in an area where there was little light pollution and good moonlight. I got my chance on this trip in a big way. The first 4 shots of this post are all long exposures, 10 minutes for most of them, if you want I can look up the EXIF for you. Anyway, with instant feedback you can easily know if you botched the exposure or got it right, and a DSLR gives you that.
I had originally wanted to wander down into Goblin Valley itself and take some shots, but with the park being full we had to camp to the west of the park on BLM land. I don't think I got shorted too much, I really like what I got. IF there were not star trails, you could almost imagine that these were taken during the day, which still amazes me.
This photo was taken just after we got everything set up and just 30-40 minutes after moonrise. There was a fair amount of car traffic due to our poor planning and going out on the week of Easter. This is looking southwest with the moon to the left of the camera.
This is looking more northerly with the moon to the right of the camera. Again with a fair amount of car traffic. In a way it adds to the landscape, but it is hardly the "aloneness" type of shot I was really looking for.
This is somewhat west of north with the moon quartering behind me. I lost some stars due to light pollution from the moon. Which was a bit of a tradeoff. Someday I want to do some startrails down there due to the clarity of the sky at night, I just need to do it when there is no moon!
This was taken at 4:00AM ish, why? Because I was flipping COLD! I forgot to take a foam overlay for the airmattress and it just sucked the heat right out of me. So I got up, set up the camera and exercised to warm up while it ran. It is amazing how bright the full moon is in the desert. This was the shot I really wanted to get once we set up and looked around.
This was taken the next morning. The landscape in this area is completely surreal and utterly georgeous. I spent a great deal of my time wishing I had a better way to capture the beauty of this landscape. Mainly because no matter how good my photos are they will never be able to convey the true majesty of this area to the viewer. Makes one a little melancholy.
As I went on my early morning walkabout this shot captured my attention. I loved the textures and the color. I do wish I had gone with a somewhat smaller aperture and deeper depth of field. But I still think it stands as is.