This is the picture. The fabled photograph that has eluded me for the better part of two years. It all started in the summer of 2008, when I first wanted to capture the milky way out in the Anza Borrego desert. While I made it out there in August of that year, my camera at that time could only muster a grainy image, and my results were far from ideal. Fast forward to 2010. My goal of capturing this image came back to me a few months ago, and was first attempted in the form of a failed back-of-a-motorcycle ride that was abandoned before it even started. Attempts at camping trips timed correctly with the lunar cycles and good air quality all proved unsuccessful over the next few weeks and months, until a window of opportunity finally presented itself. Taking only my Nissan packed with as much gear as possible, a quick camping trip finally allowed me to capture this image last Friday night.
Yes, it's still grainy. With my current cropped-sensor camera, it's literally the best that I can do. But this hasn't stopped me from calling this photograph a success. And for ISO 6400, you have to admit that it's not too terribly bad either. Unless a stranger randomly donates a Canon 5D Mark II to my cause, I'll just have to be content with what I've got. It's not the best Milky Way photograph I've taken, but it's the one I've most anticipated. And I'm glad it could finally happen.
I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but street photography is one of my favorite "genres." There's something about seeing individuals in their daily urban lives that I find fascinating. Too bad I live in the suburbs, right? This photograph was taken in Georgetown, Washington D.C. when I spent a few days there this last April. The photograph was converted to black and white, and was burned and dodged in Adobe Lightroom 2 (as usual). I'm not really into cars/trucks/anything with an engine, but I have a soft spot for motorcycles. Not those Harly-Davidson biker gang type motorcycles, but those modern, hip and trendy ones. You all know what I'm talking about, don't deny it. Back to the photograph, it's not really unique from a compositional standpoint. But because it combines elements that I view as interesting, I can't help but like this photo.
I wish this photo hadn't initially slipped past my radar. I found it marked "rejected" in Lightroom in one of my folders from my Colorado trip this summer. This shot was taken from the back porch of the house I stayed in while a thunderstorm rolled in from the prairies. It was the test shot from a series of lightning photographs that I've previously posted. I disregarded it at first because of the wide angle, which captured the suburbs and a passing car as well as the thunderstorm. What I failed to originally notice was the starry night sky hidden behind the swirling mass of clouds in the sky. And while I also failed to catch any specific lightning bolts hitting the ground in this shot, lightning in the cloud lit it up in a majestic manner. All of the adjustments in this image were performed from within Adobe Lightroom.