So yes, 3rd time out to the Trona Pinnacles. It's right near where my job is when I go out to that part of California, so it's fast becoming the most photographed part of the US in my portfolio. This time I got out there on a moonless night, so I was able to get the shot I wanted... except that without the moon you have to leave the shutter open for much longer to get a decent exposure, and then the stars move. SO, not quite the shots I was looking for, but nice enough. I need a lens with a really big aperture.
Left my car lights on to get me and my shadows.
Was able to get a cloudy bit of the Milky Way in the next three shots. I love the night sky out West in the middle of nowhere. So much grander than what we're used to on the East Coast.
After my job I had time to take a drive up to Rachel,NV and Area 51 (which I pictorialized already in my last post) by way of Death Valley. One thing I learned about Death Valley while I was there: I need to spend more time in Death Valley. Wow.
I haven't been anywhere new for work lately, just a retread of places I've already been. I was back in Northern California a few weeks back, and while I still didn't have time to do Alcatraz, I was able to spend a little time in Sacramento and then run over to the San Francisco bay for a few hours before my flight home. Sacramento... well old Sacramento has a nice college bar strip slash tourist trap vibe...
But there wasn't much else going on that I saw. I did get a shot of Ahnuld's work place though. Just for the hell of it really; I needed to take some shots of Sacramento home with me, and so I took what I could get.
I got to San Francisco just in time to catch some people doing Yoga in front of the Golden Gate bridge. Whew, lucky me. San Francisco freaks!
Yes well obviously San Francisco has much more in the way of Freak to offer than a couple doing yoga by the bay, but I was short on time.
And so ok my derision is obviously unwarranted since I clearly relished the opportunity to throw up two bridge yoga shots; I'm from Pennsylvania and it's a knee-jerk reaction to discuss Yoga and California in the same sentence with derision around here. But I live in a glass house because I just started taking a Yoga class at my gym. Get off my back. The class is free with my gym membership and I have lower back pain. So what if I'm the only guy, and the rest of the class is middle aged women. Hey look over here, it's a sweet old Asian couple in front of the bay and alcatraz.
And so I also just took another quick trip to Ridgecrest California. I'd been there with Miss Luongo back in December, and while there are quite a few cool things to see if you have time to drive around for a day or two, I'd already been to the area's most interesting place to go when you only have a few hours. The Trona Pinnacles, where many many Star Trek episodes were filmed and was also used as part of the Forbidden Zone in Planet of the Apes (The 1968 version). I'd gotten some nice daytime shots there already. So what do you do when you don't have time to make the drive to Death Valley? You go back to the Trona Pinnacles for nighttime shots!
I tried to get the same shot as the one I framed for my show, but my fancy new camera doesn't have the photostich setting on it, so it's really difficult to approximate the space and light issues needed to put a couple of shots together. The moon was making the light issue especially difficult. These were my best efforts.
But aside from that little disappointment, and thanks to other capabilities that my fancy new camera does have and my nice tripod, I was able to get a few pretty sweet ones.
I was out there for like three hours taking minute to 2 minute long shutter stop shots, and boy was it creepy. A lot of those rocks look like scary people in the dark. And it's waaay in the middle of nowhere, with nothing around. Beautiful, though. Once the wiggins went away, I really began to enjoy myself. Those red dots are an airplane that was going by. Neat effect. Makes it kind of alien.
I climbed this mountain! Not this time though. Miss Luongo and I hiked up there the last time we were here. In the day. When I wasn't knocking my knees alone in the dark out here.