David & Sherry Photography


One Crazy Idea Leads to Another

We fell in love with skies and we are always trying to push the limits of our skills, understanding and application of photography. We had captured a beautiful image of a couple with a starry background which was crazy #1, but that wasn't enough. I'd seen images with the stars looking incredible, showing off the milky way and the colours you can see only on a light-less night, away from the light pollution of cities and I wanted that for one of our couples.

It turns out finding the milky way in the sky in the northern hemisphere on a night when the moon was below the horizon (otherwise it's too bright) is rather difficult and requires a significant amount of planning. You have to be far enough from a city to avoid light pollution, have to be there at the right time of night, and have to be able to photograph in the correct direction to get the milky way in the shot. Oh... and did I mention it has to be CLOSE enough to that same city in order to make travel feasible... and one more thing... clouds will ruin everything!!!!

One of our awesome couples, Brook & Melissa, jumped at the chance to be included in such an adventure and we started planning. The location we chose was the Valley of Fire State Park outside Las Vegas, NV... and after coordination of schedules of actually getting to Vegas the time of day we needed to shoot in the park was 3:00 am!!!!!!!

It was an hour and a half drive from where we were staying to where we photographing... so at 1:00 am we picked up our couple from the Aria and headed north. Arriving we were all tired, Sherry and our couple were sleeping so I drove around with them until I found where to shoot... the reluctantly woke them up. It was close to freezing overnight so it was an effort to get this done. Oh yeah... and it was pitch black so setting up the camera was also a challenge. I got the camera set up, Brook & Melissa raced out of the car to my spot and stood still until they could stand still no longer due to the cold and Sherry laid in the dirt behind them with the flash obeying my every barked command.

As you can see in the photo there are a few clouds over the couple... and honestly, 30 seconds after this photo was taken, the sky was filled with a light cloud that covered our starry sky. We got the shot just in the nick of time.

5; f/4.5; ISO 4000; 24.0 mm.