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Searching the Night Sky with Photographer Daniel McVey

October 1, 2013
Filed in: Depth In The Field, Way of Life

Harvest Moon 2012Camera, tripod, headlamp, thermals, Filson jacket, knit hat, and gloves; it’s July at 10,000+ ft. and I am planning on going out to work under the stars. My name is Daniel McVey and I am an astrophotographer in Summit County, Colorado.

Winter Lights

Winter Lights.

Great Rift of the Milky Way. White River National Forest.

Great Rift of the Milky Way. White River National Forest.

It’s never warm here at night and that’s something I love about the Rockies. The cold air is very dry and provides me with some amazingly clear skies. I’m probably in a small group of people who gets excited for a -20F winter night.

30 Min on the Blue River. 30 min time lapse of the Blue River in Silverthorne, Colorado at night.

30 Min on the Blue River. 30 min time lapse of the Blue River in Silverthorne, Colorado at night.

Most of my shots are visualized during the day. When I see something that I think I could use at night, I consider its position and run the heavenly cycles through my head. Sometimes a shot could be in planning stages from a few hours ahead to several weeks, months, and even years.

Crescent Moon and Jupiter. May 12, 2013 from White River National Forest in Summit County, Colorado

Crescent Moon and Jupiter. May 12, 2013 from White River National Forest in Summit County, Colorado

When people ask me how to do night photography I always say the hardest part is the patience. Not only patience in planning but also patience in the field. Waiting for the moon to come over the mountain, the exact second when the light from Venus peaks through a tree, finding what I refer to as the “balance of light,” running an hour or more of Star Trails and not getting frustrated when a cloud swallows your shot after you sat there for an hour…

Milky Way Rising: Airglow. Meteor and Earthly lights. Williams Fork Range - Summit County, Colorado.

Milky Way Rising: Airglow. Meteor and Earthly lights. Williams Fork Range – Summit County, Colorado.

I love astronomy and geology. Being able to capture them together is why I bought my first DSLR nearly 8 years ago. Although my passion lies in the photography, my greatest reward is sharing a Dark Sky with the masses who no longer get to see such wonders.

Nearly a Full Pink Moon. Rising over the White River National Forest: Summit County, Colorado.

Nearly a Full Pink Moon. Rising over the White River National Forest: Summit County, Colorado.

Daniel McVey is a Resident Photographer at the Denver Photo Art Gallery at 833 Santa Fe Dr in Denver, Colorado. More information here.

Milky Way: Mauna Kea Observatory. w/ laser from Observatory. Big Island, Hawaii

Milky Way: Mauna Kea Observatory. w/ laser from Observatory. Big Island, Hawaii

Jamieson Memorial Bridge. Autumn night on the Blue River: Silverthorne, Colorado.

Jamieson Memorial Bridge. Autumn night on the Blue River: Silverthorne, Colorado.

Harvest Moon 2012.

Harvest Moon 2012.

Partial Lunar Eclipse.

Partial Lunar Eclipse.

Andromeda Galaxy over Williams Peak. Middle Park - Summit County, Colorado.

Andromeda Galaxy over Williams Peak. Middle Park – Summit County, Colorado.

DmcVey-FL-24DmcVey-FL-8

Arrival of Winter. Snow covered trees and Orion high in the sky are sure signs that Winter has arrived in Summit County, Colorado.

Arrival of Winter. Snow covered trees and Orion high in the sky are sure signs that Winter has arrived in Summit County, Colorado.

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