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“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”  Carl Jung

I reached back to November for this shot – taken on Treasure Island with San Francisco in the background.  I had one camera on the tripod, and the other in my hands that I was shooting back with.  I was a bit surprised when I saw the light trails in the road behind me.  I had set the shutter speed slow on purpose – looking for the motion blur.  The light trails are a bonus!

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358-365

“The night before I left Las Vegas I walked out in the desert to look at the moon.  There was a jeweled city on the horizon, spires rising in the night, but the jewels were diadems of electric and the spires were the neon of signs ten stories high.”  ~Norman Mailer

We drove back to the Valley of Fire this afternoon to catch the sunset.  We then drove back through the northern edge of Lake Mead and found this amazing spot where the lights from Vegas were just stunning.  We set up the tripod and I attempted to do star trails, but didn’t really succeed.  Not dark enough.  However, I did capture the stars, the moon, and light trails from all the airplanes in the sky over the city.  We were here for over an hour and a half . . . mesmerized.  Only a few cars passed by on the road while we were there.  This shot is my attempt at doing sync flash – something MTM taught us when we shot on the Strip a few nights ago.  Not sure I was 100% successful as it seems the background is out of focus.  The first shot is the original with just a bit of LR4 editing.  

D800e, 70-200mm VRII lens @ 70mm, 2 sec @ f6.3, 800ISO, and SB800 flash mounted on camera set at zero.  

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312-365

I ended up not really liking that the background was out of focus, so took it in to LR4 and reworked it . . . adding in the starry moonlit sky from another photo I took just a bit earlier in the evening.  I think I like the reworked version best.

This is my edited/reworked version.

312-365 reworked

312-365 reworked

“Ultimately photography is about who you are. It’s the truth in relation to yourself. And seeking truth becomes a habit.” – Leonard Freed

We arose at 3:30 this morning to catch the sunrise in the Valley of Fire – about an hour drive from the house we rented in Vegas.  It was pretty spectacular, as we shot in the dark at first – learning how to do light trails as MTM drove his car down the park road towards our bank of tripods all set with slow shutter speeds.  As the sun started to peek over the horizon, we all scattered in our different directions to capture the beauty.  This shot below was taken well after the sun was up in an area of gorgeous red-rock formations.  

I detest early mornings, but this trip was so well worth the effort of getting up before dawn!  

I would do it again in a heartbeat . . . 

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310-365

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