I've been trying for years to make good photos of the night sky, but living in a city the opportunities to see stars are few and far between. When I have tried I've typically tried to capture star trails, which take so much time to set up and expose that you only get one shot before you either fall asleep or you batteries die. On a recent trip to Joshua Tree I planned to try again.
On this occasion the moon was at its darkest and there were no clouds, so conditions were ideal to see the Milky Way. I've never seen it so clearly before and to think that this view is above us every night, usually hidden by the light we produce, is incredible. Most of us have to make such an effort to see it, but an eight hour drive to the desert was worth it.
In my mind this type of photograph is similar to the long exposures I take of water because this is something natural that's right there, but we need to go the extra mile with photography to reveal it. I had been reading beforehand about techniques like using the hyperfocal distance and how to calculate the maximum exposure time without stars trailing. I think I can do better next time, but I was pleased with these shots.