Winter Astrophotography at Taylor Reservoir

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Added by Katie Lyons

The dark, clear skies above Taylor Reservoir create an amazing setting for winter night scape photography.

20 miles outside the south central Colorado mountain town of Almont lies Taylor Park Reservoir. The location is secluded and not penetrated by light pollution, making it a perfect place to photograph winter stars.

When you arrive to your desired location by the edge of the reservoir you can begin by taking pictures of the collegiate peaks. These 14ers (mountains above 14,000 feet) are part of the Sawatch Range and are especially stunning with thousands of stars contrasting the dark sky above the snowy peaks.

Winter constellations such as Orion and Canis Major also make for interesting photograph subjects. There is so little artificial light in this area that the colors of the stars within the constellation are clearly visible.

It's best to use a camera with manual settings so that the shutter can be left open for an extended period of time. Use a low aperture and a high ISO to let the most light into your camera. An artistic affect can be obtained by using different white balances. A tungsten white balance (3200 K) works well for a natural look, while a shady white balance (7000 K) can give your photos a more orange, warm glow. A wide angle lens can also help to make your pictures look especially vast.

Whether you are an expert photographer or just learning the basics, the night sky at Taylor Reservoir is sure to provide an excellent opportunity for you to capture some stellar pictures.

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