Heavenly Caprock

I present this image to you more as a work in process and as a sign of things to come.  I have been experimenting off and on as time (and more importantly, location) allows for night photography.

I took a quick trip to Caprock Canyon last month with the intention of doing just that, and was rather pleased with the progress this shot makes.

Caprock under the stars

A few items of note.   Image was shot with my 7D and an 11×16 Tokina 2.8/f attached.  Exposure was 30 seconds, white balance was set on Tungsten, aperture wide open at 2.8/f and I believe this was shot at 16mm.

What I learned for next time:

– I’m not pleased with the Tungsten white balance.  It made everything in the sky blue – rather than the dark night sky I had available.  I had to putz around with the image for a bit in Lightroom to get some semblance of black rather than blue.

– I also think that 30 seconds was a bit long.  While it looks OK here on the small size I’m making available, at anything over about 8×10 size, you can see that the stars are elongated.

I think I’m on the right track and will hopefully have more to share in the future!


~ by Derrick Birdsall on January 6, 2011.

16 Responses to “Heavenly Caprock”

  1. Looks lovely to me! Often we leearn more from our ‘failures’ than we do our successes!

  2. Great picture! Try to shot all the sky next time, I think that 60 seconds of exposure will be good.

    • Thanks Lucas – the problem with going to a full minute is that you start to get star trails. If you look closely at this image you’ll see that I’m already getting them at 30 seconds. I think next time I’ll try 20-25 seconds and see what happens. 😉

  3. Probably about 99.999% of us put our cameras away when it gets dark outside. This is a good reminder that cameras do work at night. Interesting stuff.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Booom, Derrick Birdsall, Big Thicket Assn., TPWD State Parks, Derrick Birdsall and others. Derrick Birdsall said: Heavenly Caprock, nightime sky at Caprock Canyon State Park: http://t.co/1xmzWoc […]

  5. Hey Derrick, do you have an Expo Disc? It might help to use it to set the WB for night shots to remove the blue cast. I tried mine for shooting some pics of the moon and it helped me.

  6. You are inspiring me, Derrick. I want to do more night work – we have such bright stars here, not much light pollution.


    • I can see with all of the great stuff ya’ll get to see at home that you could really do something cool!! To get somewhere without light pollution around here I have to drive several hours away.

      All you really need is a tripod and something warm to wear! 🙂

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