On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Good morning everyone, I hope this finds you well.
Although Bill announced he would no longer be submitting every Wednesday, he has, in fact, made two submissions with the new site so far and so I’ve decided to run them on Wednesdays. I expect that next Wednesday, we’ll be running someone else (unless he submits again before then!). He doesn’t own the slot, but I know so many of us look midweek to see if more glory has been revealed by his masterful work.
After my last trip to Joshua Tree, I vowed that I wouldn’t be back this year. It’s a long drive and while the foreground elements are compelling, the sky can be a problem, especially for star trails due to aircraft flight paths into Los Angeles(most of the flights from the East Coast fly thought the southern view of the sky and planes flying from Las Vegas fly thought the northern sky). So I looked to more local venues that might have some nice foreground elements. So I ventured out to a place where I first went “On the Road” to shoot the Milky Way with less than satisfying results. Back in 2016, there was much that I didn’t understand about photographing the Milky Way, like you had to wait until it got really dark(about a hour or so after the sun set), not having the moon in the sky…things like that. So I decided to return to Leo Carrillio State Park on a night with a new moon to shoot the Milky Way. Leo Carrillio has really nice foreground elements so why haven’t I shot there for the past 3 years? There are parking restrictions on PCH after 10pm, it’s a short hike from my car to where I’d shoot and I like to be able to see my car when I’m shooting late a night and it’s about 5 miles closer to the lights of Los Angeles and in the Spring the Milky Way is more to the east/southeast. That said, for the late Summer Milky Way, it’s really a nice location and I’ll shoot there more next season
These pictures are from 3 trips to the coast, the first is the aforementioned trip from 3 years ago, the second is the return to Leo Carrillio and then to Twin Bush and we close out with a return to Twin Bush the following day. This trip provided an additional reward in that I met some other photographers and we actually ended up in each other’s shots after we met.
I’ve been asked in the comments if I sell prints of my photos, I do have an online store I sell prints(I’ve been told they make excellent Christmas gifts). All of the photos that I’ve posted on “On The Road”, with the exception of model photos(I don’t have model releases) and photos I didn’t take(the ones the kid took in New Zealand*), are available on my online store(in fact the pictures are posted there when I submit my posts here). I also have a Patreon where you can follow my work.
Online store: https://www.BillinGlendaleCA.com (clicking on my nym in comments will also take you there).
*She’s actually given me permission to sell these, but I’ve kind of felt that the stuff I sell should be my work exclusively.
Moonlit night at Leo Carrillio State Beach
The moon reflects of the Pacific as the fleeting rays of the sun fade into the west at Leo Carrillio State Beach in Malibu. The faint cloudy area to the right of the moon is the Milky Way’s galactic center. This was my first attempt to capture the Milky Way from a relatively dark location. Obviously I didn’t wait long enough for the sun to fully set and the moon is in the wrong phase and located right by the galactic center.
Landscape Milky Way at Leo Carrillio State Beach
After the hour long drive to Leo Carrillio I set up my tripod and camera and took 30, 10 second exposures using the primary lans for my NX1. It’s a big fast(low f-stop) zoom lens and has a pretty wide field of view at 16mm. Here’s the lifeguard station at the bluff overlooking Point Sequit that separates the two main beaches at Leo Carrillio.
Now with Fisheye!
The original shot was take with a fisheye lens(I’d just purchased it when I shot the pic), so the next shot had to be with the fisheye. Then something happened…a group of other photographers showed up lighting up the foreground in purple. Well, when you got lemons, make lemonade. I retained some of the purple tint from their lights to the final foreground. I left after this shot and headed to Twin Bush, they left soon afterwards for the hills above Twin Bush and ended up in my star trail shot.
Milky Way at Twin Bush
I’ve never shot at Twin Bush during the Summer, mainly because I thought the interesting foreground was the Santa Monica mountains and PCH with the city lights of LA in the distance. Since the Milky Way was to the south at this time of the year, I had to adjust to a new foreground. I”m shooting from the same position, but I tilted the camera down to capture more of the foreground and added some light painting.
More light painting.
Light painting is really an art and requires pointing the light from several different angles to get the light to proved the right mixture of illumination and shadows. I repositioned the camera to show more of the rocks for the light painted foreground shots.
Milky Way and Jupiter reflected in the Pacific Ocean.
This was the shot I wanted to shoot this year, yet it was a bit of an accident. It was late in the Milky Way season and that evening. I noticed that the wind had died down a bit and Jupiter was getting reflected in the ocean. I was shooting a star trail with my other camera and decided to just try an see what turned out. I shot 40 15 second exposures, 11 were not usable due to reflections from cars on PCH(and one guy who turned his car around), but I had enough shots to get both the setting Milky Way and Jupiter reflected in the waters of the Pacific.
And back to the Moon
I returned to Twin Bush with a fellow photographer the next day to get a south facing star trail, that effort ended up being marred by clouds. I was able to get some nice shots of the crescent moon setting in the west with PCH hugging the coastline. Now if it’s a crescent moon, why is it round, earthshine. While only the crescent portion of the moon is lit by the sun, the remaining portion of the moon is lit by the light reflecting off Earth.