Maybe I should have picked a better looking pine tree. It is not a Charlie Brown tree, but tall and symmetrical this tree is not.
So this image is definitely not as good as my previous attempt — New Melones Lake (CA), Milky Way, Ridge Silhouette, but it was still great to be out in the mountains, where it was absolutely silent and dark.
And despite preparing as much as I could with pre-focusing the moon while at home and placing tape and hash marks to help with focusing while in the dark, these photographs are not as sharp as I hoped. The lens I have does slightly change focus when moving the camera during composition work. Move the camera while on tripod, readjust focus using the hash marks. Of course, if the moon were out, I could use that as the focus point, but then there wouldn’t be as many stars visible. Granted it was pitch black with not even a house in the distance I could use for focus.
Or if I had a manual scale on the lens with an ∞/infinity hash as those on older and/or higher end lenses. Or most importantly, if I were more versed in applying hyperfocal distance. As always, it is about gaining experience and understand what I need to work on or learn for next time.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, ISO 8000, 18mm, f/3.5, 20 sec
Silver Lake (CA), Milky Way, Lone Pine, Long Exposure. Hwy 88 near Silver Lake, California. September 14, 2013. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.