Milky Way over Lone Eagle Peak III
You can see the Milky Way, the diffuse band of light produced by the billions of stars of our own Milky Way Galaxy, on any clear, dark night. The brightest part of the Milky Way, however, lies in the constellation Sagittarius. To understand why, recall your college astronomy class. The Milky Way Galaxy is (roughly speaking) a plate-shaped region of stars, not a spherical one. We live not in the center of the galaxy, but part way out to one edge. If you look away from the center toward the edge of the plate, you can certainly see the Milky Way, but it's rather faint. On the other hand, if you look through the center and all the way out to the far rim of the plate, your line of sight leads through a region containing far more stars as well as the gas and dust clouds in the hub of the galaxy. The galactic hub is in Sagittarius. It's most photogenic when seen against a dark sky. The sky is always brightest near the horizon. It gets darker as you look higher into the sky. The galactic hub is farthest above the horizon and therefore most beautiful when it is due south.
In 2013, with that knowledge in hand, I began scouring maps and my memory, trying to identify places where I could photograph the Milky Way over some dramatic landscape. A little research showed that Lone Eagle Peak, in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, lay in exactly the right direction as seen from Mirror Lake. I'd photographed Lone Eagle Peak reflected in Mirror Lake in daylight many years before, but I had never tried to shoot it at night and never tried to capture a reflection of the Milky Way anywhere. In July 2013 I backpacked in to Mirror Lake for a two-night trip timed to coincide with new moon. Although I was happy with my first effort, I always felt there was room for improvement. I returned to Mirror Lake in June 2015 and at first was disappointed that the lake had not completely thawed, which meant I couldn't simply replicate my earlier effort with better technique. By the second night, however, the ice had drifted into the perfect position to add appeal to the otherwise dark foreground.
My second try had produced an image that was much better than the first, but I still wasn’t satisfied. I returned in the summer of 2018 with even better equipment and a deeper knowledge of the best approach. This time I was equipped with a 35mm f/1.4 lens, which has tremendous light-gathering power. I shot the image as a multi-row panorama, exposing multiple identical frames at each camera position, then used sophisticated noise-reduction techniques to produce an image that can be printed 50 inches wide with low noise and great resolution. At last I had created an image that I believe truly does justice to one of the most beautiful places in Colorado.
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Larger framed sizes
I offer over 100 images on this site, in four or five sizes each and as many as five different presentations (loose, matted-only, framed, gallery-wrap canvas, and gallery float). It is impossible to keep every size and presentation of every image in stock at all times. Accordingly, most of the items I offer for sale on GlennRandall.com are hand-built one at a time as customers order them. It normally requires between five and ten business days to complete an order, but it may take longer if I am on an extended shoot. Shipping time is in addition to these figures. To get specific information about delivery time for a particular item, please call 303 499-3009 or email me. I will do my best to accommodate rush orders. Thanks for your patience!
All photographic prints, regardless of presentation (loose, matted-only, framed, etc.) are delicate and require careful packaging to be shipped safely. Accordingly, all online purchases will have a 15 percent charge added for shipping and handling. This shipping charge only covers shipments to the continental United States. Please contact me for a quote on shipping to Alaska, Hawaii, or to international destinations. If you would like to pick up your print at my home office in Boulder rather than have it shipped, please call 303 499-3009 (office) or 720 320-7126 (mobile) to complete your purchase and make arrangements for pickup. Alternatively, I can deliver prints in the Denver metro area for $1.00 per mile based on round-trip mileage.
All matted-only and framed prints larger than 24x30 inches, all gallery-wrap canvases and gallery-float prints larger than 30x40, and all framed panoramas wider than 30 inches, are too big to be shipped via FedEx ground and too big to fit in any standard-size art box. While these prints can be shipped, they require a custom-made crate and the cost is exorbitant ($300+). I strongly suggest that all customers who live outside the Denver metro area and who wish to purchase a print larger than the maximums specified above buy the loose version and take it to the custom frame shop of their choosing. Loose prints can be shipped rolled at the standard shipping rate of 15 percent of the retail price. I will gladly provide detailed instructions to the framer on the moulding I use and my preferred method of mounting and framing the piece.
I use elegant hardwood frames on all of my framed prints. The image above right shows the frame I use for the smallest framed size of this image. I use proportionally larger frames with the same color finish for larger prints. The moulding shape will vary, depending on the size. For more information on the frames I recommend for different size prints, please visit my framing page.
I allow returns for a full refund (minus shipping) for 30 days from the date of delivery if you are dissatisfied with the print. You are responsible for the cost of shipping the print back to me, including the cost of insuring it for the full retail value, and the print must arrive in salable condition for a refund to be issued.
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