Night Photography at Mormon Row
Wyoming › Mormon Row, WY
Added by Eric Bennett
Very dark skies with almost zero light pollution and moderately frequent sitings of Aurora Borealis. Wide open area with lots of different views and compositions.
While you may have seen the hundreds of shots of this place at Sunrise or Sunset, very few people come here at night to shoot the barns. Every time I have gone I have been the only one out there. Avoid the crowds and wait for the stars to come out to get some amazing milky way photos.
If you aren't familiar with shooting the Milky Way, you will first need to check at what time the moon will be setting/rising to make sure it won't be out while you are shooting or else you won't be able to see. The milky way rises in the SW part of the sky and comes up at different times during the year, so look that up to so you don't miss it!
Aim where the milky way is, if you can get good photos of it, then you can at least sort of see it in the sky. If you cant see it in the sky, most likely it won't show up too great in your photos. Turn your ISO up to about 2000-3200 depending on what kind of camera you are shooting. Cropped sensors will be really grainy at 3200 but 2000 is acceptable. Full frames should be fine and 3200 and anything brighter isn't necessary and will just take out a lot of contrast from the dark sky. If you are shooting a wide lens like 16mm-8mm you can get away with a 30" exposure but 25" will make the stars look the sharpest. If it is still really dark you can bump it to 30" though, there will just be a tiny bit of drag as the earth rotates. If you are shooting tight like 50mm-24mm you won't want to pass 20" or else the star streaks will be really noticeable and your sky will never look in focus. Open your lens up to f/2.8 or the widest aperture it can go, to let in the most light possible. If you go past f/2.8 your foreground can be really soft or it can be really hard to get the stars in focus. To focus your lens correctly, switch to live mode and zoom in. Search for a bright start and manual focus on it, this way you won't have a soft sky and thus will be able to see more stars/ more detail in your photo. After that, just snap away!
- DSLR Camera
- Wide Angle Lens
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