Newtography
By Andrew Newlun
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Pic of the Day

A Night on the Blue Ridge

On my last trip up to Washington DC for work, I left on a thursday afternoon. My shift started at 11am on Friday, and it's a ten hour drive. I usually have hotels pre booked for me, but I hadn't been informed where my hotel was, and I didn't ask. I figured I could set up somewhere and get a decent star trail that night since it was only a couple days before the time was about to change, which would be ending my early night sky shooting until the fall. 

I made my way up through Virginia, using my various apps to determine what direction would have the least amount of cloud cover and one of the darker night skies. I found a general area around along the blue ridge parkway and started scouting out locations. Now, since it was almost a full moon, I knew I would not be getting any milky way shots, but, if I could find a dead tree or something with nice textures, I knew that the moonlight moving across it would make for a good time lapse to add to my archive. 

So that's what I began looking for. After about an hour of scouting out spots, I found a decent location with a tree that one of the branches had fallen off. I took my camera down (getting injured along the way :/ ) and set it up to start shooting. I then went back up to my car, laid the passenger seat all the way down into the back seat, and laid out my bed for the night. I fell asleep bleeding all over my sleeping bag from an injury I got fumbling around in the dark. 

I woke up a few hours later tossing and turning as I normally do and looked up through the sunroof glass to see complete overcast clouds. Angry and tired, I went and picked up my camera, put it in the back, and proceeded to leave Shenandoah National park before they opened for the day so I wouldn't have to pay.  (Can you spot my car in this photo? ;)

I drove an hour or so to a truck stop and went back to sleep until the morning, then continued on to DC. Upon returning home I processed the star trail image and time lapse video. I was pleased with what I got, even though I had to cut out 100 frames from the star trail that had clouds obscuring the view.

So I hope you enjoy this image as todays Pic of the Day and the quick time lapse that will show up in my feature length time lapse movie in the future :)

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Watch in HD to see the stars


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