Pic of the Week 6/1/17
“The Stars at Night...”
Location: Highway 256 north of Quitaquae, TX
Date taken: 5/27/17
The stars at night are big and bright (repeatedly claps hands)... deep in the heart of Texas!!!
No truer statement has ever been sung in that cheery folk tune. The stars under a dark Texas sky are big and bright like the stars we saw a few weeks back in one of my favorite locations for milky way photography. I am, of course, referring to Caprock Canyon State Park. This has been one of my favorite locations for a while now and I always look forward to visiting. We were there a few weeks back shooting the milky way over Holmes Creek canyon. After that successful shoot my friend Kyle and I drove on 256 to look for even darker night skies. This road takes you through the north prong of the canyon and with so many mesas and buttes to incorporate in the composition it is easily one of my favorite locations to photograph. Just before the rest area there is an old wind mill that looks like it has seen better days. Although the windmill has not been functional in what looks like a long time, it still provided us with an excellent foreground element to include in the scene. Earlier that night a cold front had passed through and the wind was really cranking at this time. The gusts would come screaming over the canyon from the northwest and become funneled in the terrain of the canyon and a strong burst of wind would hit us directly causing the blades of the delicate windmill to spin. The rattling and grinding of the old metal made me think the poor windmill was on it last leg and would topple over with a strong enough gust. But, it stayed up throughout our entire shoot and served its purpose for us. I used an LED flashlight and my cell phone to light paint the foreground and the windmill during the long exposure, this gave the foreground a little more interest and detail than a plain silhouette. And the arch of the milky way framed nicely over the windmill giving the composition a great tranquil feel. This was an absolute joy to shoot because the milky way was so bright in those dark skies that there was very little post processing needed to bring out details of the milky way. It was just an excellent way to end our already successful shoot. I'm looking forward to visiting Caprock Canyon again!
The Stars at Night... © Ben Jacobi