Photo of the Week, Vol. 6

Astrophotography has always been a special interest of mine and luckily for me and other photographers my age we’re not working with film, meaning we get instant results and can play around with different concepts at essentially no cost. I started doing astrophotography a few years back in Northern Michigan or what Michiganians consider “Up North.” I never imagined another sky would be able to compare to those Up North until I visited the Flint Hills of Kansas.

The Flint Hills are incredible – wide open prairie that dips and turns as far as the eye can see. Eagles, hawks, deer, foxes, bobcats and buffalo roam the hills freely, instilling a sense of wilderness and freedom.

The Flint Hills are beautiful during the day but at night they turn magical. The skies are untouched and in many parts not a ounce of light pollution is visible.

This week’s Photo of the Week was taken right outside Cottonwood Falls and was set up around 6:30 p.m. just as the sun’s warm glow faded softly into the night. I wouldn’t take the final image for another 11 hours, waiting patiently for the precise time ( 5:33 a.m. to be exact) when the Milky Way galaxy and moon lined up with the hilly terrain.

Below are two different frames, one without light and one “painted” with light. I want to exhibit how light can change an image and hopefully in this case, make an image more appealing. Three different light sources were working together in this image. One was the moon, the other my headlight in its red “night mode,” and my car’s lights. The image took about 30 minutes to get right but after all was said and done I was happy with what I had as a final image.

See more of my Photos of the Week at

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