Great Basin Night Sky Photos
Thanks for taking a look at my Night Sky photos. I find that the long exposures make the sky a little surreal and help us peer into the immense universe where we exist. Looking up at the night sky and contemplating those far-away worlds helps put all problems into perspective.


1-1-old bristlecone under the Milky Way
Ancient bristlecone under the Milky Way
I took this photo on a backpacking trip and was just getting started with night photography. I set up the camera for a long exposure, did some light painting of the 2,400 year old bristlecone pine, and then took a look at the results. What was that orange glow off to the north? There aren’t any cities that way. It was the glow of the Hampton Fire. I couldn’t see it with just my eyes, but the camera could see it.

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Pegasus Road Art and the Milky Way
Road Art has been a part of Baker since the late 1990s, when Doc Sherman started some tongue-in-cheek “post-impression” art hanging from the road posts. Over the years it evolved, and in 2016, a sixth grader homeschooled at a distant ranch in Snake Valley put up this creation. Pegasus is one of the constellations, and she wanted to honor the dark night skies of the area, particularly because Great Basin National Park had just been designated as an International Dark Night Sky Park. I photographed Pegasus during the day but really wanted to capture it at night with the Milky Way, looking like it’s ready to fly off to distant worlds. Unfortunately this road art was removed by NDOT later in the year.

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Whoa! The Milky Way!
The Whoa sign is located at the Baker cut off road and was created by Bill Rountree. Too many drunk drivers were crashing through the stop sign. Since the Whoa sign was put up, no one has crashed through. You just have to speak the right language.

5-1-round bristlecone_edited-1
Mount Moriah Bristlecone and the Milky Way
Our family’s second backpack trip with young children was up to The Table in the Mount Moriah Wilderness in Nevada. I was hoping to get night sky photos, but it was cloudy when we went to bed. I woke up in the middle of night and the skies had cleared, so I spent a couple hours wandering around, entranced with the juxtaposition of the ancient bristlecones and the even older night sky. The glow in the background is from Ely.

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Shooting Star and the Milky Way
This dead bristlecone was also on The Table in the Mount Moriah Wilderness. I was delighted when a shooting star fortuitously fell during the long exposure.

2-old yellow truck
Old Yellow Truck and the Milky Way
Even old trucks in the equipment yard can have their moment of glory. This old yellow truck almost looks like it’s eating the Milky Way with its open hood.

6-Diagonal bristlecone
Diagonal Bristlecone and the Milky Way
This was from the magical night on The Table. Those bristlecone pines have the best views.

1-Reaching to the stars
Reaching to the Stars
I like how this dead bristlecone pine appears to be reaching up to the heavens.

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