I have been after this image for a few years now. There were a few agreeable captures, maybe even a success, but nothing truly grabbed my attention. I was unable to unlock the story, or the emotion that evokes the image inside. My goal was to come up with a unique capture for this remarkable location, to reveal a deep emotion for my viewer, to convey a remarkable message. I knew this was a special locale, and I wanted the image to hold true to it.
Oftentimes I have told my students, "There is always someone who knows more". I met with two other night shooters this summer; they were wonderful individuals and pushed me further, offering new techniques and ideas. It all came together with this capture. Bear Creek Spire appears in ethereal light just after the "blue" hour, with the full Milky Way above. I knew I had experienced a spiritual moment in my long career here in the Sierra--it was otherworldly.