Joshua Tree 2018

A week after visiting the Grand Canyon, another group of friends and I hung out at Joshua Tree for the first time to go see the Perseids Meteor Shower. It wasn’t something like out of the movies where you see a couple every second. Rather, we would see one with the naked eye 15-45 minutes apart.

Photography wise, I think I made a lot of mistakes. Having never really shot the Milky Way before aside from the bit I saw at the Sony Kando Trip, I don’t have a lot of experience shooting or editing these kinds of photos.

For this trip, I took my Sony a6000 and rented a 16-35 G Master. We set up and hung out at the center of the Jumbo Rocks campgrounds around site 92 until 12:30 am. There were a lot of other people around driving, having camp fires, shining flash lights around, etc. I think the mistakes I made were:

  • Being in a place with a lot of other people.
    • People were driving around and shining flashlights, so I couldn’t control the exposure of the rock formations we were near.
    • I think the campfires and things were affecting my white balance from shot to shot, even though I wasn’t using auto white balance. I’d shoot 50 shots in a row and some would be noticeably different in color between adjacent shots.
  • Underexposing my pictures by shooting lower ISOs than I should’ve.

To edit the Milky Way pictures, I was kind of following this guide. I still need a lot of practice. My colors end up different shot to shot. I also tried to stack photos together in some images to make the meteors go across the space (and remove planes).

I’m looking forward to trying again in the future. That said, I don’t have a ton of confidence in these pictures. So I’ll just share them here so I can compare in the future to see if I improve. 🙂

P.S. A lot of CA was still on fire the days leading up to when we went to Joshua Tree. I’m still not sure if someone’s trying to get me…

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