This astrophotography project, which followed the Dark Sky Tour 'coffee table book project', had a specific goal: To capture the most spectacular images of the Milky Way above beautiful landscapes around or near the Western United States. The project resulted in at least ten images taken in the locales of Death Valley CA, Crater Lake OR, Hawaii, Pinecrest CA, and Black Rock Playa NV.
This project was again crowd-funded through Kickstarter.com
and brought in more than 13K$. We were able to make five separate trips to some of the most scenic places in our part of the world, taking our equipment with us. For example, we flew to the Big Island in Hawaii and took shots at more than 10K feet above sea level, spent long nights shooting at one of the clearest bodies of water in the world, Crater Lake, and in some of the most remote landscape in the U.S., Death Valley.
The trip, for us, was a challenge. We had not before captured very captivating images of the Milky Way. Through experience and observation, we had theorized that better equipment was needed to fill the gap. A portion of the funds were set aside for rental of top end camera bodies and fast lenses. In addition, we designed and built a special device which allowed us to drastically increase our exposure times. The project was a massive success, with pledgers receiving rewards that included postcards, 8"x12" prints, and even huge 24"x26" canvases!
A sampling of the photos taken are viewable below. Select photos from Operation Milky Way are available for purchase at our astrophotography website www.darkskyphotography.com
which supports an online storefront.
Colorful Milky Way at Crater Lake, OR
Sliding Rock and Milky Way at the Racetrack Playa, Death Valley, CA
Keck Observatories under Milky Way at 13,796 ft, HI
Milky Way Reflection over Crater Lake, OR
Northern Sky over Trees at Crater Lake, OR
Milky Way by the Water at Crater Lake, OR
Vertical Milky Way at Black Rock Playa, NV