Stargazing adventures, #4

In the interest of packing light, I didn't bring my tripod on this trip.  I knew I wanted to try my hand at some night sky photographs, but I'm usually pretty good at creating some sort of tripod substitute if needed, so I left mine at home.  Silly me.  Had I not been fortunate enough to find an old telescope tripod in the observatory, I don't think my night photography experiments would have turned out as well.


Nights with the moon lit up the dome, made it easy to see what I was doing, and so I just held down the shutter button and counted.  Yay for digital! - I could view the results right away and make adjustments.


I'd planned to go out during a moonless hour on my last night to see if I could capture the Milky Way, and during the day I found a good spot to set up the tripod so I wouldn't have to fuss with carrying it up the rocks in the dark.  But - wow - dark is DARK up on the mountain, and there I am at midnight hiking around with my little flashlight hoping I don't break my ankle on the rocks, fall off the ledge entirely, or startle critters in the process.  I sing them a little song to let them know I'm coming...

Mountain lions, monsters, don't eat me; I am only skin and bones, you see...

When I finally get to the tripod I realize I only have two hands to screw on the camera while holding a flashlight. Why didn't I think of this?  Muttering, I figure out that holding the light with my shoulder like a telephone seems to work the best, and finally, there it is: my Milky Way.

Thank you thank you!