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On Last Minute Jaunts

My original plan for Saturday evening was much more tame than the actual one that transpired. I got a last minute invite from my friend and amazing photographer, +Ben Canales, to go shoot the Perseid Meteor Shower from a lookout point that he found a while back. He thought that it would offer a great view of the night sky and overlooking Mt. Hood.

So, with tent, beer, and gear packed, we all headed out to the Timothy Lake area of Oregon. After corralling all of tents and supplies, the eight or so photographers who joined all began setting up and getting their shots. We collaborated and compared optimal settings - it was a great time to say the least.

After getting shots of the Milky Way and various meteors zipping through, I decided to sit back by my camera and tripod (weighed down with my amazing +fstop Loka bag), and let it expose the sky for about 20 minutes. I had a delicious beer that I wanted to enjoy, after all. :)

Based on the position of the Big Dipper, it was easy to find Polaris, which allowed me to arrange my camera in such a way that I could predict the rotation of the stars. I love how you can see the blurry blue mesh of the Milky Way galaxy jutting down through the upper center part of the frame.

In any case, I walked away with a bunch of shots that I'm really excited to get crackin' on and share out here with you.

Thanks again, Ben, for putting this last minute gig together! You rock.

Google Maps Location Info
45°9'33" N 121°53'27" W

In terms of processing
This image required some finesse because of the excess noise that was visible (shooting at ISO 400 on my Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 15mm Fisheye Lens). I applied Magic Sunset and a combination of Deep Forest Glow and Hollywood Glow to help give the image a somewhat softer feel. All were done in Perfect Effects 3 by +onOne Software.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.1.
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Wow - so awesome, Brian!  love this shot!!
Wow It's amazing!
A couple meteors jetting through the spiral would've been cool but you can't have it all.
Bet that was one Great tasting beer ,after U put this together ! NICE!
AGH!!! What a beauty - and what an awesome experience +Brian Matiash! Can't wait to see the others! 
+Karthik Nagaraj For these types of scenes, I usually focus just short of infiniti and take a test shot. Then, I'll zoom in on the stars to see if they're in focus. If not, then I'll re-adjust and test again. If they are in focus, I'll usually put a small strip of tape on the focus ring to prevent it from moving.

And thank you, everyone!!!
Thanks +Brian Matiash - so in short taking such shots are a real pain but the outcome is awesome. I will have to be more patient in keep on trying next time. 
Also I presume there was near zero light pollution right? For me a little light pollution blew up my frame even at low ISOs exposed for a long time. :(
+Karthik Nagaraj There was a very nominal amount of light pollution from Timberline Lodge (seen at the base of Mt Hood) but overall, there were no issues seeing all of the stars.
I will be in Maui soon and would love to visit the top of Haleakala mountain at 10000 ft and shoot the stars there. 
Superior work, +Brian Matiash, even for your usual high standard. And thanks for explaining the processing. I would have just fixed the noise in LightRoom -- what you did makes it pop. 
gorgeous!  i have never tried to do this.  not sure though if there are too many places in L.A. that I could get away with it.
what the heck is Gaffer's Tape?  

I loves me some residue ;)
+Paul R. Giunta Whenever you need a man weekend and let your two ladies have a girls weekend, just come on up to PDX. I've always got a place to crash and we can head out and get some of these astral shots.
+Brian Matiash perfect!  will be coming up soon (hopefully) as one of my best friends lives there and they just had their baby 2 days ago.
Fantastic - been too long since I've been out to shoot one of these.  Keep em coming!
Beautiful.... Would love to know how it was done!!!!!!!!!!!!
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