Camping under the stars and a full moon

The last time I slept in a tent in a real camping situation, some wicked strong wind was blowing down our tent in the middle of the night causing my wife and I to scramble three kids from the tent to the car with buckets of rain falling from the sky and bolts of lightning making a flashlight obsolete. Maybe that’s why it’s been nearly four years since we took on the great outdoors in a tent. But this time, I had some ideas for a few photographs that I was hoping to capture while camping a single night at Jordanelle State Park near Heber, Utah.

My hope was to capture some star trail photos or even a shot of the Milky Way. The night sky was supposed to be cloud free, but a little thing known as the full moon, or in this case the Super Moon, put a damper on that idea, because before the light from the sun was fully extinguished, the moon was peaking over the mountains in the east. But once I got my kids to bed in our 3-4 person dome tent, I turned on a light for them and then set up the photo below.

Photo tent camping under stars full moon

Canon 60D | 18-135mm lens | 30″ | f/7.1 | ISO 400 | RAW

One of the hardest parts of the photo was to get the tent to glow, without over-exposing it, while capturing some of the stars in the night sky. I think if the moon wouldn’t have been lighting up the great outdoors, it would have been easier to capture the two elements I had in mind. But I still like the way the overall photo turned out. I did capture this photo in a horizontal and vertical layout, and I’m excited to try and do a few different things with this photo – maybe a iPhone 4/4s cover? Hmmmm.

~signed, Carltonaut

Effect of glow stick lighting

My kids love having glow sticks with them when we go camping. My guess is that it provides them some comfort while sleeping in a vulnerable tent. For me, I think it makes for some rather interesting lighting situations and photos – like this one:

Flourescent campout

The florescent green sleeping bag, in the shape of an alligator, helped with the interesting colors of the photo.

I had initially stayed up after he fell asleep to take some night shots and chat with my brothers and dad who were also on the trip. But the cloud cover prevented me from getting star trail shots, so I got ready for bed before seeing this shot.

I set up my Canon Digital Rebel XT, then held the blue glow stick above my son, but out of the frame. I snapped off a few shots of this before calling it a night, but when I looked at the shots once I got back home, I thought this one was a keeper, though my son’s blue complexion looks a little on the creepy side.

~signed, Carltonaut