Lunchtime Photo

One of the other things I did on my Arizona trip was shooting the night sky. Northern Arizona has some of the darkest night skies in the country, so it seemed a shame to waste the opportunity.

The surprising thing about the picture below is that it’s not a composite. Most night sky pictures are. For the sky itself, you have little choice in exposure: you use a shutter speed of 20 seconds with a high ISO and your lens wide open. The problem is that even a flashlight shines like the the sun with an exposure like that, so normally you have to take a picture of the foreground separately and then merge it with the sky. In this case, however, there was a shed about 200 feet behind me with only a single bulb over the door. It barely provided any light at all—which was perfect. It was just enough illumination to look normal even with a super-long exposure.

The moon is way overexposed, but there’s no help for that. I dodged it some with Photoshop, which helped with the clouds, but the moon itself is so blown out that nothing will help it.

Overall, though, this turned into a nice picture. The moon and the clouds are very picturesque, and the warm, shadowy colors of the fence make a very nice foreground. I’ll post more pictures like this one over the next few months.

January 28, 2020 — On I40 east of Kingman, Arizona

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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