The Milky Way at Sprague Lake

It was a very cold, dark night, but we were determined. We had been at the crime scene earlier that day, but wanted, no needed to experience it at night. Okay, there was no crime. But it was cold and dark. Very dark.

Earlier that morning, Alex Santiago and I had experienced an incredible sunrise at Sprague Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park. When we arrived in the dark, we saw some photographers Alex had met at the lake last year. What were the odds they would be out at the same location, on the same day and tim? Jim Doty and his friends were a great group to join up with too. As we took our sunrise images, they shared how they had been at the lake a previous night and how the conditions were perfect for shots of the Milky Way. Say no more.

However, later that evening, after a long day of shooting, I had secretly wanted us to stay in and rest, but I’m so glad we didn’t. We returned to the lake well after dark to a moonless, clear sky. The higher altitude in the mountains with no light pollution only helped. I remember getting out of the truck and immediately being able to see the Milky Way across the entire sky, and my eyes had not even adjusted to the dark yet. Wow, quite a sight to see for someone living in the suburbs!

The one downside is that it was so dark, that hardly anything would work for a foreground object.  We tried to “light paint” a few trees using flashlights with mixed success. My favorite image was this first image of the star reflections on the lake itself.

 

Milky Way at Sprague Lake. Photo by Tim Stanley

 

 

Milky Way at Sprague Lake. Photo by Tim Stanley

Home for Dinner

I guess this is a good thing. A die-hard, business person would look at this and see an empty office complex. They might think that business is going undone and profits are being lost. What a waste.

But others might see the late hour and the empty lot, meaning that workers were home enjoying dinner with their families. I understand that the country runs on commerce and money makes the world go round, but a happy home life translates to a happier person. Happier people mean better job performance, which leads to better productivity and higher profits.

That business person should be smiling now.

 

The late hour and the empty parking lot may mean that workers are home enjoying dinner with their families.

A Hay Bale Sunset

The golden colors of a sunset accents the golden colors of hay bales in a local field, while the sun creates a golden star effect as it sets.

 

The golden colors of a sunset accents the golden colors of hay bales in a local field, while the sun creates a golden star effect as it sets.

Lazy Hay Bales

Several times a year, a few fields close to home are cut and the grass is baled for use later.  I only have a few days to steal an image, because they usually don’t sit there long, before they are collected and moved. With the rains we had this fall, they were there a few weeks, though the weather provided only a few days for a nice sky.

 

Several times a year, a few fields close to home are cut and the grass is baled for use later.  I only have a few days to steal an image, because they usually don't sit there long, before they are collected and moved. With the rains we had this fall, they were there a few weeks, though the weather provided only a few days for a nice sky.

Looking Back

As I thought of a title for this post, I realized I should save it for December 31. These past several months have been full of so many activities and running around, that taking time out for a photo has been a luxury. When I do, it might just be my iPhone.

Every pretty sunset I’ve seen recently has been from my car as I run another errand for my kids. But that’s okay. I value my family time first and will put that before a photo opportunity if need be. Of course, I try to combine the two when possible.  But if I’m not posting as much as I use to, please be patient. As kids grow up and venture out on their own, my time will open up again. And so will my camera bag.

 

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

A Constellation Sunset 2014

Almost two years ago, I went to my first Skeeters baseball gave at Constellation Field. I have only been back once or twice since then. I like baseball, but there always seems something else to do, other than go watch a game. I went for the first time this season, only a few nights ago. Though a big storm had just rolled through town, it missed the field and the game went off without a hitch. I spent much of the time walking around, really just waiting for the shot below. The sunset wasn’t bad, but the sky grew more dramatic several minutes after the sun had fallen.

Here are some some previous visits to Constellation Field in Sugar Land, TX.

 

A view of Constellation Field in Sugar Land, TX just after sunset. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Cold Morning Sunrise

Winter mornings can be so beautiful. The leafless trees offer lines and vantage points not found during the spring and summer, when their foliage hides the view. The cooler weather brings higher altitude clouds that offer broad, sweeping strokes across the sky.

This morning scene was on my way to work, via my iPhone. I’m hoping to upgrade my phone to a better model with an improved camera, but probably not until the fall. Right now, my older 4S will just have to do.

 

This morning sunrise scene was on my way to work, via my iPhone. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.