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A few weeks ago I went on an overnight photography mission to Mount Mansfield in Stowe, Vermont with a photographer friend of mine. We were able to shoot the sunset, the stars at night and sunrise the next morning. It turned out to be a really good hike as we were able to shoot three different scenarios over the mountain landscape in one hiking mission! Mount Mansfield really is an awesome mountain to shoot and it was a treat to be able to be up on top to shoot some night sky images. With some clouds around I was not hopeful for star trails as the sun was setting but we got lucky later on in the night with clearing skies.
I started shooting this start trail image over what is called “The Nose” which is part of the Mount Mansfield ridge line. On the other end is what is called “The Chin.” Unfortunately for hikers the have plopped a bunch of cell towers on this part of the mountain and there is no longer any access to this area but you can get a nice view from the base of it. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness the Milky Way came out in all of its glory and i was able to include this in my star trail image! A nice bonus for standing still for a while clicking the shutter on this one.
Processing on this one was normal for a star trail image with a few bumps. I had taken a few of the milky way shots during the middle of the star trail images and one on the end of the sequence and some of these frames had to be dumped for various issues. I ended up using the last one I made and it came out really nice. I had the idea to add in the milky way to an otherwise normal star trail shot while I was shooting and the results were what I had expected in my mind. To be able to see both in the same image made the long night on the mountain worth it!