Returned to camp after watching the sunset at Zabriskie Point. Hours of driving made me quite tired, but clear skies & views of the stars granted me a second wind. I wasn’t getting cell service anywhere in the park except at the campground, and even then it was like 2 bars of 3G. Still enough to check the iCSC app for the dark sky forecast:
Looks good, but “seeing” was low (possibly due to CA wildfires, not sure). I ran into a challenge with campground neighbors’ trailer light being bright enough to burn out my retinas. I tried using this as my light source but it washed out too much for my liking. Big Agnes tent’s “mtnGLO” lights worked great and may have been too bright on their own.
Also I think it’s time to upgrade my stock lens – just not enough versatility at F3.5. First shot is a 19 second exposure, second I let run for 28. Not much difference. Also a possibility that I still suck at editing these in Lightroom…
All that aside, I still had a front row seat to view outer space from my tent site. Galactic center was (weakly) visible to the naked eye.
After a few hours of playing with the camera (without campfire or alcohol), I decided it was time for sleep. Set an early alarm and resolved to get more hiking done tomorrow.Lat = 36.4591904 , Long = -116.8535919 -- Show at Google Maps