Cosmic Sneffels, Take 2

Colorado,Mt. Sneffels,San Juan Mountains,Sneffels Range,stars, Milky Way, galaxy
Cosmic Sneffels : Prints Available

Mt. Sneffels in the Milky Way on a new moon night in June. The green color behind Sneffels is airglow, a common phenomenon of natural chemical reactions in the atmosphere.

On Wednesday I hiked up towards Mt. Sneffels to attempt a redo of a similar photo I took two years back, this year with a white, dust-free snowpack. I also came equipped with a brighter lens that’s better suited for night photography, so the details of the Milky Way are rendered much clearer in this photo than before.

The last two times I’ve visited this spot I camped with a tent, but on Wednesday I opted to travel lighter and go for an all-night hike instead. I reached my summit at 7pm, watched the sunset, and relaxed up there bundled up in warm clothes until finally the Milky Way was positioned directly above Sneffels at around 1am. I continued shooting until about 2:30am, then made my way back down in the dark, reaching the trailhead at sunrise! Sleep can wait…

7 thoughts on “Cosmic Sneffels, Take 2

  1. Great shot Jack, what lens and camera did you use on this, your A7 and ?? Did you have to take 1 exposure of the milky way and 1 of the foreground??

    1. Hi Kiim, this was with the A7R + Sigma 24mm f/1.4 “art” lens. This was actually 4 horizontal exposures, stitched vertically on top of each other to gain the much wider angle of view. The two foreground exposures were focus-blended for increased depth of field. After this clusterf—, what I really want is an f/1.4 tilt/shift 17mm lens! (Dream on…)

  2. I want to get into astrophotography, have been surfing around a bit at equipment, and was wondering what your thoughts are on a Sony a7, with a Rokinon 24mm f / 1.4 lens, not sure on the tripod,for a starting setup.

    1. Hi Bruce, I think the A7 sensors are pretty darn good, certainly some of the best on the market. I have the A7R; it’s not a miracle worker but it does perform notably better at long exposure noise (or lack thereof) than did my Canon 5DII, for comparison. As for the Rokinon 24mm, I actually tried one of those a few years back and it was awful, just horrible quality. However, I’ve read a number of glowing reviews of this lens so maybe I just got a bad copy. For that reason I’d probably recommend buying two at the same time, and doing some testing so you can keep the better one and return the other if it’s bad. (Of course you’ll need to purchase them someplace with a good return policy, like B&H Photo).

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