The Milky Way and the Bristlecones

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October 2015
The White Mountains, California

This image was made at the end of a two-day private workshop here in the eastern Sierra. I have seldom taken a group to the Patriarch Grove for workshop. The trip is almost three hours each way from Mammoth! In this case my students were excited and ready to go. We spent the late afternoon scouting for the right tree and a background down in the Owens Valley and across in the Sierra for the Milky Way. Then we spent sunset shooting high in the Patriarch Grove at about 12,000 feet. A quick trip in the car took us back over to our pre-selected location for the Milky Way. I tried several techniques to make sure I obtained a good capture, but this simple idea turned out to be the best. One of my students had a new Canon 24mm F1.4 lens along. I have used two of these lenses previously, but neither was a good as this new model. Setting the lens at F2.0,the shutter at 25 seconds, and shooting at the last light before full darkness made for a wonderful simple image.