Brilliant Light on the Bisti Badlands
Bisti Wilderness, New Mexico, 2014
Photographing the Milky Way depends on everything going right. This bright band of the Milky Way, near the constellations Scutum and Ophiucus, isn't visible at any time of night during the winter months; this time of year (mid-April), it rises above the horizon around 2:45 a.m. Clear skies are a must, and if the moon is too high in the sky and too bright, its light will wash out the Milky Way. The technical details of making a good image also are less than trivial. With these obstacles, it's great to catch an unexpected break. Lighting the foreground of a landscape like this is one of the most significant technical challenges, but in this spot, an external source, the light from a nearby industrial facility, not only did the job for me but also cast a brilliant shade on rock formations that reflect mostly white in daylight. Photo © copyright by Greg Owens.