Wednesday, September 23, 2015

NightScape Photo Walks

Milky Way rising over Silver Lake near Brighton, Utah ~ © Royce Bair (click to enlarge).
Reddish glow on the left is light pollution from Park City, and on the right is from Heber City.
NightScape Photo Walks: I've been doing free, local astro-landscape photo walks near the Salt Lake City, Utah metro area for the past few years, like the above location, which is only 11 miles (18 km) from the edge of the city, and this recent photowalk in Utah's west desert. We've had as many as 100 people participate in these free events, and the response has been incredibly positive and rewarding. Our next NightScapeWalk is March 11-12 near Wendover, Nevada.

This Dark Sky Finder map shows that Brighton, UT (the middle purple marker) is only 15 miles from the
inner city lights of Salt Lake City, UT. Brighton and nearby Silver Lake are still in a fairly light polluted
Bortle Scale Class 6 (orange color). However, the rising Milky Way in the eastern sky (to the right)
lies across darker regions (yellow, green, blue and gray with Bortle Scale Classes 5 through 2).
Acceptable Astro-Landscapes in a light-polluted environment: Even though the site is affected by light pollution from the nearby city, and is in a Bortle Scale Class 6, acceptable images of the Milky Way sky were still obtainable because the camera was pointed away from the largest source of light pollution and towards a region having darker skies (Bortle Scale Class 5 through 2).

NightScape Photo Walks near your city. I'm looking to do free photo walks in other areas around the world. Like our Salt Lake City event, the location needs to be conveniently close to a major city, yet far enough away to provide reasonably good photography of the starry night sky. You can check to see if your favorite area meets this criteria by referring to this Dark Sky Finder map of the United States. Your location should have a Bortle Scale Class 5 (yellow) or lower. Use this Dark Site Finder map for all other locations in the world.

An invitation: I invite photographers everywhere to suggest future photo walk venues by tagging your favorite astro-landscapes with the hashtag: #NightScapeWalk (capitalization is not required) — on InstagramFacebook or Google+. Please include the location of your NightScape and any other interesting background information in your photo description. To qualify, locations should be within 50 miles (80 km) or 90 minutes drive time (which ever is less) from a major city or metropolitan area (over 100,000 population). You can also suggest a location on my NightScape Meetup page.

Showcasing your images: From time-to-time, I will feature some of the best images on my @RoyceBairPhoto Instagram account, complete with credits and links to the photographer. The featured images will also appear on my Facebook fan page. These suggested locations may also become venues for future NightScape Photo Walks that I will organize and provide free to the public.

Paid Workshops: I also do paid group workshops. Past and future workshops are listed on my NightScape Meetup site. Private workshops of 1-4 people are also available.

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