Stunning dusk/night photography by Philip Colla

They say no pain, no gain. Extraordinary shot often are the result of hard work, skill, persistence and talent. The following are three amazing shots by Philip Colla. I leave his explanation of the shots as captions. Enjoy and share.

Landscape Arch at Night, Milky Way Galaxy, Arches National Park, Utah I just returned last night from a brief outing to Utah. Man was it hot! But not to fear, I was sleeping during the day and shooting all night. It was one of the most productive shoots I have ever had, and I managed to nail 8 of the 9 compositions I had in mind along with shooting some other unplanned images to boot. I used a combination of the Canon 5D Mark III with the Nikon 14-24mm zoom lens. I am floored at how well this lens works for astrophotography landscapes, even wide open it is so sharp (when critically focused) with very little coma distortion in the corners. The images I have reviewed so far really exceed my expectations. And the 5D Mark III is a real step up from the 5D Mark II in terms of noise and high ISO.
In this image I used Pocket Wizard gear to remotely trigger my camera and special high powered light to illuminate the arch from 150 yards away in order to have sidelighting that shows the relief in the rocks and trees.

I Dream of Canyonlands
Alone at Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Canon 5D Mark III, Nikon 14-24 lens, single image with minimal processing in Lightroom. Transitioning Light on Delicate Arch Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah —–
At least four light sources are mixed in this image: fading dusk (sometimes called blue hour), quarter moon at camera right, starlight and milky way glow, and my uber-mondo handheld light. Everyone else had left at this point. After I made this image I sat down and ate my dinner in the quiet while waiting for the moon to set so that I could expose for the milky way properly. It was pleasant some hours later hiking back to the car in the dark with only the noise of my boots, bird chirps and darting rabbits to hear — no voices. Canon 5D Mark III and crazy sharp Nikon 14-24.

Philip Colla

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