Joshua Tree Stars

For the last several years I’ve been in awe of astrophotography. Technology available to the hobbyist to capture detailed images of the moon and milky way are astounding! This last week we scored last minute campsites at Joshua tree. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to try my had at some longer exposures and some stargazing.

I haven’t tried astrophotography nor do I have all the equipment. I do have a DSLR and great lenses from my days as a wedding and portrait photographer. We didn’t have enough time to purchase the right equipment to track the moon or were even in the correct phase of the moon to get the right shots. Instead I decided to try my hand at star trails and some night painting.

Friday night we braved the 405 traffic. A 2.5 hour journey nearly took us 5 hours to get to Black Rock Campground on the outskirts of Joshua Tree National Park. We we pulled into our site at about 8:30 PM, I hopped out with my camera and tripod in hand along with my trusty helper daughter. It was about 40 Degrees and we set up the camera. We were pretty successful other than we only got about 30 photos before 10:30. I was freezing and my daughter bailed for the comfort of the heated camper van about an hour before.

Our Travato camper van with the rest of the family enjoying the heater.
Black Rock Campsite and my first try at capturing star trails.
  • Canon R with 24-70 2.4L
  • About 30 photos. Next time I want to try warmer clothing and 150 photos.
  • 22 Second with too much time between frames.
Light painting with our camp lantern.
Hiking the next day around Skull Rock.
My youngest getting brave and trying to boulder.

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