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A creative composition with some good timing places the Milky Way into a position where roles appear reversed. Rather than our planet being suspended within the Milky Way, this image shows the opposite with the distant Milky Way appearing in suspension between foreground features of our planet - a unique perspective that caught my eye from the get-go.
Taken at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, this image captures the close relationship between our planet and the heavens above. Using long-exposure settings and some gentle light painting, I was able to illuminate world famous Balanced Rock and other structures in combination with the Milky Way skies above - a combination I was thrilled to be able to capture together.
And after patiently waiting through a string of days with ugly weather, I was especially happy to finally have some weather that allowed this to line up just right. I guess Mother Nature was just a little slow in honoring my request for good weather!! :-)
Of course, it was no accident that I "happened to be in the area" of Balanced Rock just as the Milky Way rose up over the La Sal mountains to the south. It was too dark to capture much of the mountains and besides, I wanted my image to be more simple than that with just the Balanced Rock structures and the Milky Way. And the way those two lined up for me in this scene was something I will never forget!
This single-exposure image was taken with my Nikon D800 and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens with settings: ISO 6400, f/2.8, for 30 seconds. I did the light painting with my Brinkmann Dual Xenon flashlight, off-camera from the right side of the image, behind the trees. The glow behind the rock structure reaching up into the sky on the right comes from light pollution from the town of Moab, Utah.
May 10th, 2013
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