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Photographer's Note

You know what they say about the stars at night being big and bright deep in the heart of Texas? I can vouch for the accuracy of that statement.

Big Bend is one of the best spots in North America for astrophotography. With no major civilization for about 100 miles in any direction, there's next to no light pollution (or air pollution). In fact, the area surrounding Big Bend is the largest dark spot in the contiguous U.S.

I'd never really done much astrophotography, and when I had tried, it was a dismal failure. It's nice to have a camera that handles high ISO well. I loved this one of the Milky Way and the topography surrounding our campsite. This picture was literally taken about 15 feet from my tent. Some of the easiest photography I've ever done.

These were near-perfect conditions for astrophotography: a nice clear night, no moon, and a spectacular lightning storm behind me that lit up the foreground without dimming the stars. The shooting star you can see in the picture (we counted at least four in the large version) was a nice bonus.

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Additional Photos by Clark Monson (cdmonson) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 383 W: 53 N: 1020] (5304)
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