This Photo is far, far, far from perfect.
This is a horizon-to-horizon stitch of seven photos taken in the summer of 2010 from Whatcom pass high in the North Cascades. The glow on the eastern horizon (bottom) is of the moon… soon to rise over the ridge.
It was late, and too cold for the flies that had pestered me throughout the previous day. For nearly two hours I experimented with aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
As a self taught photographer, like most in the world I’d imagine, I had to figure things out for myself. To my eyes, my inexperience with shooting astronomical features is glaringly obvbious in this photo.
With a few exceptions, almost every photo in this stitch has a different setting; this is not ideal. My eyes immediately fall to the obvious differences in ISO created grain and the slightly longer motion blur of some stars next to the sharpness of others.
Yet I’m pleased with this photo. I’m pleased that I took the time, alone under a brilliant sky, to hone a new craft while the rest of my crew slept off the vertical feet of the day. I’m pleased that I didn’t try to mess with the white balance and complicate things further.
And, unlike any other time in my life, I am pleased that I am not an astronomy expert…lest I become even more unsettled by my undoubtedly butchered shot alignment.