Greater Egret

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Moonless night, Borrego Springs

Yesterday afternoon, Ken, Fred and I drove down to Borrego Springs to shoot a little astrophotography. I have never really done much of it but Fred had and I was eager to try my hand.

It was a beautiful clear night, just perfect conditions. Warm but comfortable.

We scouted the area, picked a nice scorpion sculpture by Ricardo Breceda to make our nocturnal stand. Had dinner, came back and set up.

The first thing we did was take a series of long term exposures to get a good star trails picture. I will be working on that shot when I get a chance and post the final product when I am finished.

I think we did pretty well although there were glitches, like when the off roading Porsche Carrera convertible showed up at the end of our 96 minute time lapse cycle with its headlights on. At midnight. I think I can still make it work.  Bill was kind enough to loan me his intervalometer and it saved my ass as the Nikon remote ML - 13 wasn't working quite right.  Ken showed me how to program it and helped me in a thousand different ways, as always.

The Porsche people, who were experienced photographers, made amends by setting up several large 500 led light banks.

This furnished us with just the right amount of illumination to backlight our oversized quarry. We started doing 30 second shots of the milky way. All is forgiven.

I was using my Sigma 10-20, not an ideal aperture at f4 but super wide. 3200 iso, 3200 kelvin. Look forward to trying this sort of thing out again. I will post the time lapse when I am finished with it.

Made a wrong turn in the dark on the way home. Got in after two. Operating on three hours sleep. Ouch.


Helen Killeen Bauch McHargue said...


Ken Seals said...

Good Job! from a fellow Desert Rat...

Anonymous said...

INCREDIBLE. Love the surreal effect of the scorpion!!! Stars aren't bad either! L

Sanoguy said...


Max Hall said...

Looks like an alien world.

I used to surf Scorpion Bay in Baja frequently with friends during the 70's & 80's. The waves were amazing, but the flat spells could be torturous. When the pyramid of beer cans in the camp reached the height of our tents, it was time for a surf sacrifice. So we'd gather a huge pile of dead cactus from the desert and have a massive bonfire on the cliff over looking the ocean. We'd catch the first scorpion to crawl out of the fire and pour a circle of gasoline around it. After lighting the gas if the scorpion charged into the flames, the flat spell would continue, but if the scorpion stung itself to death, then a new swell would arrive in three days.
Either way we would sit next to the fire and talk story until it burned out a few hours later.
The surf sacrifice has given way to high tech forecasting models. But the photo at the top goes well with my story. Once again, you nailed it Rob.