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Suggestions for night sky locations near Los Angeles, CA - what say you?

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  • Suggestions for night sky locations near Los Angeles, CA - what say you?

    I want take night sky photos somewhere within about 4 hours of Los Angeles, CA in late November, and was thinking maybe I'd try some place new. Any ideas for places that have interesting foregrounds?

    I've already shot at Trona Pinnacles, Alabama Hills, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Joshua Tree NP, Borrego Springs sculpture garden, Vasquez Rocks, the Kill Bill Church near Lancaster, and probably one or two more I'm forgetting.

    I'm thinking about Knapp's Castle in Santa Barbara County off the 154, maybe somewhere in the Santa Ynez Valley if you can think of any places that are beautiful and accessible at night, A Buddhist retreat in Ventura County, somewhere near the Pacific coast, Alabama Hills again, or maybe Borrego Springs since I can never get enough of their magnificent sculptures, but would love to hear suggestions. Thanks!!!

    Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

  • #2

    Have you tried Idlewyld or San Jacinto peak Ken? or the Palomar mountain observatory?

     

    If desert landscape is what your after, go a little farther south of Borrego springs to the Anza Borrego state park, there's all kinds of geological formations, crack's and krag's down there.

     

    I use to camp the primative area's there alot a time or two ago.

    Comment


    • UstadKhanAli
      UstadKhanAli commented
      Editing a comment

      Palomar might be really cool, thanks.  I am not necessarily looking for desert areas, but just anything with really dark skies and interesting foregrounds.  

      I would freeze my ass off up on San Jacinto in late November and might not be able to get down super late at night, so nooooo thanks!!    


  • #3
    Within 4 hours of LA could be a couple hundred miles away ( unless you drive at rush hour . )

    I spent many nights in in Three Rivers (up hwy 198) from Visalia headed up to Sequoia Natl park gazing at stars.
    Don Boomer

    Comment


    • UstadKhanAli
      UstadKhanAli commented
      Editing a comment

      I definitely want to get away from the bright lights so that I can see (and photograph) as many stars as possible.  I am considering a place in Ventura which is a Buddhist retreat, the airplane "graveyard" in Mojave, or the Buttermilks near Bishop/Alabama Hills near Lone Pine.


  • #4

    Here ya go:

     

    http://www.kcet.org/living/travel/socal_wanderer/night-sky/stargazing/8-places-to-see-stars-in-los-angeles-county.html

    http://www.kcet.org/living/travel/socal_wanderer/night-sky/stargazing/7-great-stargazing-spots-in-ventura-county.html

    <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Elson Trinidad</b><br><br><i>Singer, Songwriter, Keyboardist, Bassist</i><br><br>Elson and the Soul Barkada<br><br><br><br><b>Web:</b> <a href="http://www.elsongs.com" target="_blank">www.elsongs.com</a><br><br><b>MySpace:</b> <a href="http://www.myspace.com/elsongs" target="_blank">www.myspace.com/elsongs</a><br><br><b>Facebook:</b> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/business/dashboard/?ref=sb#/pages/Elson-and-the-Soul-Barkada/17610745066" target="_blank">Facebook Page</a><br><br><b>Twitter:</b> <a href="http://twitter.com/elsongs" target="_blank">twitter.com/elsongs</a></div>

    Comment


    • UstadKhanAli
      UstadKhanAli commented
      Editing a comment

      Thanks.  Those are some good suggestions, particularly for stargazing.

       

      I've hiked Sandstone Peak several times, and really like the area, and have been thinking of doing some light painting and night sky photos there for a while. The only issue is that the two places where I want to do them are probably about a mile from the trailhead, not super far, but the trail is winds through and has some drop-offs.


  • #5

    I didn't know the Kill Bill church is in Lancaster!  Wow I used to live there. 


    I would think the MIssion Inn (or any of the missions actually) might be interesting.  Have you checked into possibly the Hearst castle?

    Comment


    • UstadKhanAli
      UstadKhanAli commented
      Editing a comment

      Well, the "Kill Bill" Church is...it's sorta near Lancaster, but it's waaaaay out in the boonies.

      The issue with shooting the Mission Inn, Heart Castle, or things like that is that they are already lit, and the enormous dynamic range between that and the stars make it rather difficult to take night sky photos AND properly capture those buildings without completely obliterating their details.  You can try and blend two photos in Photoshop, one that is exposed for the building and the other for the sky, but it's still a pain in the rear because I seem to get haloes no matter what.  I've done something similar before, photographing a church that was lit by the streetlights nearby, and even that was a royal sized pain.

      Divinity Star Trails Ken Lee Photography long exposure Sonoma star trails church Nikon Ansel Adams "The Birds" Hitchcock

      This church, by the way, was in "The Birds" , the Alfred Hitchcock, and was photographed by Ansel Adams, and is located in Sonoma County in California.

      For more photos from my trip and info about the shot:
      http://www.elevenshadows.com/travels/sonoma2013july-russianriver/2-sonomacountycalifornia-2013july.htm

       

      Attached Files


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