North Cascades Night Sky Photo Tours 2017

North Cascades Night Sky Photo Tours 2017

For a photographer there is little more exciting than to capture your first clear images of the Milky Way.

Here, on the outer rim of our galaxy, we get a pretty good view of the neighborhood…

Then the focus becomes: foreground.

I have tried many variants.; tents; lookout towers; highways; old barns; bridges and lakes. And seen more.

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But there is definitely something special to see the great arc of stars above a sharp range of peaks.

There are many wonderful locations for shooting the Milky Way in the North Cascades, some are drive-in locations, sort of a “park and shoot” and there are also wonderful night sky spots that require a bit of hiking and camping overnight.

Here are my two favorite Drive in locations, both along the North Cascades Highway.

The list of equipment to bring is not long: A DSLR, a wide-angle lens, tripod and cable release. The settings also simple, use a wide open aperture and set the shutter speed per the 500 Rule. Start low-ish with ISO and gradually increase until the stars are bright enough. Here are more details.

The date/time for the North Cascades Night Sky Photo Tours 2017 is based on the lunar calendar, the New Moon is when there is no moon visible. I schedule for night sky tours 2-days plus/minus of the new moon. For Drive in tours the general schedule is to meet in Sedro-Woolley late afternoon, head up the Highway and are back about 1 or 2am, depending upon the month. Bright images of the Milky Way

Hike -in locations are also awesome! You get a 3 for one, sunset, night sky and then sunrise! Some of my favorite places are: Park Butte Lookout, Sahale Camp, Winchester Lookout and Baker River.

As for hiking distance, the Baker River is less than a half mile hike; Winchester Mountain less than two miles, Park Butte 3.5 miles and Sahale 6 miles and very steep at the end!

More details about equipment here.

There you have it! I hope to see you on a North Cascades Night Sky Photo Tour in 2017!

Get your 2017 Washington State Scenic Calendar here!

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