Critique Style Requested: Standard
The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.
The rhythms of Nature are comfortably reliable. We know that the Sun will rise and set every day. We may not be able to see the Sun, but its light will predictably illuminate the morning, and its absence will darken the night sky. We can accurately predict the rotation of the Earth, and consequently know when sunrise and sunset will occur for any date in the future. The same goes for the beacons of the night sky. For example, I know that the core of the Milky Way will be visible in the southeast every Spring and will shift around the to the southwest by October.
Nature is reliable in other ways too. Water is powerful in physical and spiritual ways. Water can both soothe and excite a soul. I prefer the serenity of a perfectly calm body of water reflecting a billion stars, but Jackson Lake is a large body of water and its proximity to the down-sloping breeze created by the stunning peaks of the Tetons means it’s fairly likely, dare I say reliable, that there will be some wave action. On this night, a very pleasant lapping of waves on the shore could be heard as we walked in the dark to the water’s edge. The National Park Service has done a commendable job of keeping light to a minimum here. The parking area behind us uses red lights. This safely illuminates the area without polluting the entire bay with artificial light.
When the surroundings are this dark, the stars are inversely bright! Within a few minutes, your eyes can begin to make out details of the landscape by starlight alone. The silhouette of Mount Moran and the Grand Teton were easily recognizable. Speaking of reliable, how about the ability of these awe-inspiring peaks to create a sense of wonder that bridges just about every form of division we humans could create? During the day, the popular locations can be quite crowded with admirers, but here in the dark, there were just a few other folks. We were all comfortably spaced around the beach like a chef sprinkling the perfect amount of seasoning on a culinary masterpiece.
The night sky is certainly food for the soul, and we dined well this night as we visited many locations. Each one of them was reliably beautiful and just about as tasty an experience as one could dream up.
The magenta and green of airglow appear a bit blotchy in this image, but you don’t always get those delightful bands! I use an action in Photoshop called Ministars to reduce the appearance of the stars. This enhances the darker areas of the Core and helps reduce the graininess that can appear with so many stars in an image. Do you mind this look?
Sigma Art 20mm 1.4
ISO 6400, f/2.0, 10 seconds
9 light and 27 dark images (intervalometer glitches!)
Processed in Starry Landscape Stacker, Topaz Sharpen, and Lightroom Classic CC