It was a very cold, dark night, but we were determined. We had been at the crime scene earlier that day, but wanted, no needed to experience it at night. Okay, there was no crime. But it was cold and dark. Very dark.

Earlier that morning, Alex Santiago and I had experienced an incredible sunrise at Sprague Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park. When we arrived in the dark, we saw some photographers Alex had met at the lake last year. What were the odds they would be out at the same location, on the same day and tim? Jim Doty and his friends were a great group to join up with too. As we took our sunrise images, they shared how they had been at the lake a previous night and how the conditions were perfect for shots of the Milky Way. Say no more.

However, later that evening, after a long day of shooting, I had secretly wanted us to stay in and rest, but I’m so glad we didn’t. We returned to the lake well after dark to a moonless, clear sky. The higher altitude in the mountains with no light pollution only helped. I remember getting out of the truck and immediately being able to see the Milky Way across the entire sky, and my eyes had not even adjusted to the dark yet. Wow, quite a sight to see for someone living in the suburbs!

The one downside is that it was so dark, that hardly anything would work for a foreground object.  We tried to “light paint” a few trees using flashlights with mixed success. My favorite image was this first image of the star reflections on the lake itself.



Milky Way at Sprague Lake. Photo by Tim Stanley