New Moon Night Imaging Along Baker Lake Road


Last night, December 3rd, was the New Moon. It was also a crystal clear sky…and cold! I considered several destinations for image capture and decided for the Baker Lake Road. The road heads north from the North Cascades Highway, passing from Skagit County into Whatcom, the road ends after 26 miles (21 paved, 5 gravel) at the trail head for the Baker River Trail.

Right at the end of the paved section the road crosses a large concrete bridge as it curves east. Here are superb views of Mount Baker. We stopped to admire the night sky…
stars 7em

stars 8em

The parking area was, not surprisingly, empty and we made the short stroll up to the suspension bridge crossing the river.

I started under the bridge, clambering over the gravel bars, trying a place to set up and capture the arc of the Milky Way and the bridge.
stars 5em

stars 4em

The wind was so strong at times that I needed extra weight/pressure on the tripod to ensure it did not topple.

In this image I flashed the lower side of the bridge with one swipe of my head lamp set to red.
stars 3em

The camera settings were f/4 (widest aperture), 10 to 13 seconds shutter speed and between 10,000 to 20,000 ISO. I was using a 24mm lens and the camera (Canon 6D) has a full sized sensor.

Of course I mounted the camera on a tripod and used a cable release. This was the extent of my photographic equipment and settings.

My last stop was atop the bridge, attempting to capture the tower silhouetted in front o the stars.
stars 2em

Nighttime imaging is very exciting! I hope to get out again in the next two days…

11 thoughts on “New Moon Night Imaging Along Baker Lake Road

  1. Wow I love these shots especially the one with the bridge light painted red from your head torch – very creative and results in a fantastic image. Really enjoyed this post, thanks!

    • Thanks for the comment! Yes, the red underside to the bridge came out well, when you experiment a little you never know what will look good! Here in NW Washington it is rare to have the confluence of clear skies AND no moon! But it sure is cool when they match!

    • Thanks! Winter brings a lower level of photographic opportunities, for me anyway, because I am so addicted to bright colors…but the nights with no moon and clear skies always get me excited!

  2. In a word, stunning. Particularly love the lit underside of the bridge. I’m quite familiar with this area having a cabin on the Skagit in Concrete we go up there quite often.

  3. Your Night shot are beyond my ability and vocabulary for other than “WOW”, “WOW”.. May I Post your Captures to My Grandson and other Photographers on G+ or have you done so already.
    Your Style, experimenting, Thinking out side the Box (Pun-Camera box), ability to Obtain Max. performance from Nature, Subject and Common Locations…Is ADMIRABLE.!! Thanks for Sharing and providing the Details of the Capture. Here is to a dew drop on your Lens and Mud in your eye. May the MASTER give You a Long Life, Many Clicks of Nature and Enjoyment of the Kindness returned for your many Thoughtful “GIFTS”.

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