Celestial Evening above Tioga Pass

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June 2019
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This image is the result of "Perfecting the Art of Practice". If you're a football fan, it's old quote from Vince Lombardi. I have been working the Milky Way for a few years now, and practice is essential, and for a shot that seems like it could work easily. There are many variables to contend with here. ISO, Aperture, Shutter speed, the movement of the stars and more. Night time captures are more of an "engineering" problem , and some photographers are more apt than others, and I believe it is rare to find a "heartfelt photographer" combined with the engineering type. My usual mode is to have a capture or a theme in my minds' eye, have a keen appreciation of the appropriate weather conditions, and make a journey out into the field "with an open mind". Night images need to be carefully planned. Most images combine two or more exposures, which the photographer envisions beforehand as a final result, before the capture. No exceptions here, one for the sky and one for the foreground. I "suspected" but was not sure, that this was the ideal night for this shot, early in the season so that heart of the Milky Way is visible, and before the road is open. There is campground in the scene, and moving cars when the road is open to traffic. There were things that I did not expect, and were amazing too, the melting lake with some open water for reflections, and no traffic at all! As always, luck favors the prepared! And the "practice paid off too", I only made a few exposures. I knew beforehand what to expect with the scene in front of me. You first have to "practice the art practicing".