A trip to the Big Bend National Park in the Chihuanhuan Desert is one I’d suggest you put on your list. If you like big space and big skies, it’s here!
Big Bend National Park is rated as one of the top 10 “darkest places” in our world. As a benefit, you can find “Big Sky” country at night like you may have never seen.
Night photography is new to me so I’m always looking for some insights. Let me share with you some of the things I’ve learned and some resources you may find helpful.
Equipment needed will be a camera which can handle high ISO, typically 1600-3200, sometimes higher. My personal preference is to start at 1600 ISO and adjust as needed. You’ll also need a solid tripod for long exposures and a fast lens for gathering all the light you can.
My lens of choice is the Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 ED. It’s available for most popular camera bodies. If this night photography interest blossoms some more, I’ll probably add the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED for that extra wide angle view. Both lenses are very reasonably priced. Don’t worry about the manual focus because you will set it and forget it. I literally tape the lens in place once focused on infinity, and, you’ll want to focus on infinity, not just turn to infinity.
You’ll profit from a way to set long exposures. My choice has been the Vello Wireless ShutterBoss Timer Remote. It also comes “wired.”
If you can’t make it to Big Bend right away, check out the website “Dark Sky Finder” or “Blue Marble” for a dark place near where you live.
There are numerous website discussing night photography so a little searching will be profitable. Here’s one that has really helped me get started. It’s David Kingham’s Blog.
So, “the rest of the story” . . . I booked 6 days in the desert for night photography. It rained the first 5, including tornado warnings, hail, minor flooding, power outages! You get the picture, and, pun intended, I barely didn’t! I ended up with one night to photography. Such is life, but as the movie says, “I’ll be back,” and I’d add, “Lord willing”!
The days did yield some desert goodness and a few pictures will suffice. Check out night photography and enjoy the heavens above!