10 Most Meaningful Images of 2018: #7

Milky Way Over Landscape Arch

Milky Way Over Landscape Arch

I have never been one for Astrophotography. The late nights don’t go well with my usual early mornings. I am an early riser by nature, so staying up to the wee hours of the morning to shoot the starts usually doesn’t happen. But, when I saw that Mike Taylor (and his wife Sonya) would be leading an excursion to shoot Landscape Arch at night at the Out of Moab Landscape Photography Conference, I knew I had to take advantage.

Mike is a fellow New Englander and while we had never met before, we had interacted quite a bit on Facebook, so I was looking forward to meeting him in person. Further, and perhaps more importantly for my photography, Mike is one of the pre-eminent astrophotographers in the country, so the opportunity to meet and learn from Mike was too good of one to not take advantage of.

I was also lucky to also have Sian O’Shea as my shooting partner that evening (she may not have been so lucky to be standing next to me with all my questions) . Sian has travelled the world and shot astrophotography extensively, so to have her by my side while I tried my hand at astro was a bonus to the night.

While I love the picture and offer many thanks to Mike, Sonya, and Sian for their technical support, I have to admit that more meaningful to me were the moments standing in the middle of Arches National Park, one of the least light polluted locations in the contiguous United States, and just looking at the vastness of the skies above. There were literally thousands of stars not normally visible in the northeast, and a Milky Way that just popped out from the blackness. The moments not shooting, and looking up were more meaningful than those shooting (and focusing on ISO, Shutter Speed, etc). I learned a lot technically, but it is was the feeling of awe that I experienced looking up at those stars that I will carry forward more.

For the graciousness of fellow photographers teaching me some new techniques and the feeling of awe that I experienced, Milky Way Over Landscape Arch makes my list of top 10 most meaningful images of 2018.