Star Trails over the Charcoal Kilns Death Valley California

Copyright © 2013 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

A year or two ago I saw my friend Rick Whitacre’s photograph of the Charcoal Kilns with Star-trails and loved it so much I hoped to photograph it myself one day. The last night of my visit to Death Valley National Monument the sky was clear which is exactly what I had hoped for so I could try to make this photograph.

He-Man and I drove out the Charcoal Kilns arriving just before sunset. I got my gear out and started planning and plotting my composition. Once I found my composition I started thinking about lighting the kiln doors. He-Man was going to light the doors for me so we timed him to see if he would be able to get all the doors lit in one frame. I had purchased a Brinkman light and brough my Rogue Gels along to use, but when it got dark enough to start shooting we did another trail run using the light, and it wasn’t quite as bright as I had hoped for. Thinking that might happen I also packed my Nikon SB600 Speedlight. I taught He-Man how to set the flash off then we did another trial run. I loved what I saw. I made my final test shots for my star trails and shot it for real.

Thank you He-Man for lighting each door so well and for going with me! I’m really happy with this photo.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 17-35@17mm| f4| 30 frames stacked in CS6| 121 seconds| ISO 200| Manual Priority| Tripod

A penny for your thoughts...

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