2016—Starry, Starry Night
Vincent Van Gogh probably couldn’t see the magnificent view of the Milky Way that we photographed Tuesday night—our lenses record much more detail than the naked eye—but he certainly had a vision of the spectacular sight of this starry, starry night. We hiked up to one of the oldest trees in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, thought to be at least 3500 years old, to try our hand at photographing the Milky Way. At about 9:30 PM, Richard, Dave, and I huffed and puffed our way about a half mile from the parking lot to the tree at 10,256 feet of elevation, carrying our gear in the pitch black night along a narrow, shale covered path that rose in elevation about 300 feet. It took about a half hour to get up there. There is no light pollution at that elevation because there is nothing else around. Our small headlamps gave us plenty of light to make our way up the mountain. We spent three hours photographing the Milky Way as it rose in the night sky and then at just after 1:00 AM, we hiked back down. We were so excited about what we had just witnessed that we couldn’t bring ourselves to pack up our gear so we spent another half hour photographing the Milky Way from the parking lot. I took my last photograph at 2:05AM. We packed up the car and drove back to Bishop, about an hour and a half drive, getting back to our hotel about 4:00 AM. This is a photograph of the Milky Way that I took from the parking lot.