Wednesday, August 19, 2009

3,391 Feet Closer To Heaven

Last weekend a few friends and I spent the better part of the night on Old Rag Mountain. Camping at the summit is not permitted and personally I had to haul up enough gear, water, and appropriate clothing. No way was I going to add a tent and sleeping bag to that load. It is hard to believe that we spent the better part of 10 hours on that mountain for what amounts to 1 photograph. It really was more than one, but the object of the exercise was to shoot a star trail. My star trail photo is a composite of multiple exposures. I thought about taking a 2nd camera body and tripod, but decided the extra weight and space was just not worth it.

This was my second trip to the summit of Old Rag this year and not any easier the 2nd time. It was hot and humid at the lower elevations and cold on the summit after dark. The summit of Old Rag faces the north. There is a lot of foreground interest at the top, mostly big boulders, some of them 20 to 30 feet in diameter. Facing north allows you to arrange your composition around the North Star. The North Star stays in the same position in the sky and the other stars rotate around it at least that is the visual description. Sorry no lesson on astronomy here!

A few thoughts about nature: No deer or bear on this trip but at the summit the bats would fly over our heads, sometimes only by a foot or so. On the way down I think I saw a spider with every step I took. Considering that snakes are nocturnal, I was on the lookout. A copperhead passed a few feet in front of me when I was only a few hundred feet from the truck on the way back.
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