One of my goals for 2012 was to dip my feet into Astrophotography, a subject that has captivated me for years. Armed with a rudimentary knowledge of what I'd need to get any kind of exposure of the heavens above, I set out to capture a perspective of Zion National Park I had never before attempted. Just outside of Zion, in the lovely town of Springdale, the skies get much darker than they ever do here in Vegas. My eyes began to adjust and the silvery band of the Milky Way became clearer. While perched atop the balcony of the pool of our hotel, I began to fire away in the general direction of our lovely spiral galaxy. Blind fire would be more appropriate, as it's nearly impossible to compose a shot through the viewfinder in this darkness. In the future, I'll definitely compose while light still remains in the sky.
I knew I wanted the stars to appear as pinpoints rather than long streaks of light across the sky, so my exposures were limited to 30 seconds. Any longer, and the rotation of the Earth would blur the stars. The preview of my first shot on the back of the camera astounded me with a view of our galaxy my eyes could never capture directly. The colors of the myriad stars shone through like fairy dust. Truly magical. This was my first attempt at astrophotography and I've already learned many lessons I'll take to my next star-gazing session. Onward and upward!