Disconnecting from civilization, and all 4G connection, for four days, three nights was just what the soul needed. Our recent trip to Great Basin National Park was exactly what I’d hoped for. Located five hours north of Las Vegas, off the Loneliest Highway, GBNP feels like it’s far from the rest of the world, and really it is. I selected this location for my first camping trip *in 15 years* after reading that it had one of the darkest skies in the United States. Translation: Star-gazing Mecca! And, with the upcoming Perseid Meteor Shower intersecting with the New Moon, booking our trip in August was a must, as I really wanted to try my hand at astrophotography.
The week leading up to our trip was stressful, as the weather forecast predicted some thunderstorms and high winds. Just in case we had to cancel, I decided to come up with a Plan B: Tonopah, Nevada (also rated as a premier stargazing destination due to the dark skies). However, our hearts were set on GBNP, as it offered so much in one spot – Lehman Caves, hiking, the oldest trees in the world, and gorgeous camp sites. My boyfriend, Dave, and I felt like we could handle whatever Mother Nature had in store for us, and decided to make the trip. Man, am I glad we did!
I had rented a 14 – 24 mm f/2.8 lens so that I could get wide angle shots during my attempt at astrophotography. It definitely allowed me to take advantage of the stunning skies. Now, the conditions weren’t completely ideal for photographing the night sky, but they were pretty darn close. There was about 20% cloud coverage, and I never saw the sky completely clear. However, what I did see was certainly incredible, and as I had read prior to the trip, I could view the Milky Way and a few galaxies with my naked eye. And I was able to capture some of that.
My attempt at astrophotography was far from perfect, and I have plenty of room for improvement. But, for my first time, I don’t think I did too bad.
Great Basin National Park is a very special place, and I am so grateful that I got to spend time there with my beloved Dave. I’ll be sharing a full recap of the trip soon; however, in the meantime, here are a few astrophotographs of Perseids at Great Basin National Park (all shot with 15 to 20 second exposures). Let’s see if you can spot the meteor “shooting stars” in some of the pics…
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