It was time for my yearly winter adventure, so my good buddy Brian and I were out for a three-day snowshoe backpacking snow camp in Mt Rainier National Park.
After sunset on the first night, conditions we perfect to set up a long exposure star trail shot.
I love making star trails over winter camps, and we had set up a perfect campsite. After setting the composition, I practised a series of short exposures to ensure the focus, white balance, and composition were correct. Then we set the cameras to bulb at f/4 and locked the cameras open.
I dusted my headlamp on the tent in the foreground for just a fraction of a second. Then we walked into the scene to crawl into the first and last tents to light them with our headlamps for 30 seconds. Then we went into the middle tent we called our "Cabin" and sat in the dark for 50 minutes. Then I lit a candle lantern in the Cabin for 30 seconds.
After that, we walked out of the cabin tent, back behind the cameras, and waited for 5 more minutes; this way, we would not appear like ghosts in the images. We ended the exposure after an hour and ten minutes, and then it was a waiting game.
We had long exposure noise reduction on and had to wait 70 minutes to see if we had nailed the shot. We did not know that the full moon was rising, and 5 minutes after we ended the exposure, the moon popped up. We got lucky with that, as it would have completely ruined all of our hard work. Finally, the image popped up, and I had nailed it and put that shot in the bank!
Many epic images were captured during our three-night adventure, and this shot was one of my favourites! Winter snowshoe backpacking certainly adds a considerable degree of physical and mental difficulty, but the rewards are so worth it! Happy shooting, everyone.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor