Bristlecone Pines under the Milky Way

I love being outside at night and gazing at the stars. Due to the light pollution around big cities, only a small part of the night sky is visible. To avoid this, one has to travel far away to have a chance to see the dark sky glowing with stars and maybe even the milky way. Earlier this month, together with some friends, I went all the way to the White Mountains. It is not only that the White Mountains are far from any big city, but the oldest living organism, the Bristlecone Pine, calls it home as well. These trees are amazing and provide excellent photography subjects.

While the main objective was to shoot the night sky, we didn’t want to miss sunset. On the way to Patriarch Grove, we found this spot with several isolated trees and a nice open view of the western sky and the Sierra Nevada. I took this shot well after sunset. While I was working on my composition, my friend Régis stopped by and together we illuminated the trunk by flashlight.

Bristlecone pine at dusk

I created the next image about 90 minutes later once the last light from the sun faded away. For once the time passed quickly because we were having dinner during this time!

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Dead tree trunk under the milky way

A few days earlier we had found a location close by for a sunrise shoot. I enjoyed the place since it provided great options to shoot the milky way and to create star trails. So we went back to this spot, from where I created the next two images.

I like the alignment of the milky way and the two tree trunks. This is one of my favorite night shots of the trip.

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Two Bristlecone pine tree trunks pointing at the milky way

This location is very versatile. Several trees with different orientations lead to new compositions.

Bristlecone pine under milky way
Yet an other Bristlecone pine under the milky way

I can’t wait for my next trip to this beautiful and isolated place. Until then, I’ll have a few more images to share with you, so stay tuned!






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