This is a panorama taken at the Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. The red glow on the left is from the aurora (northern lights), which were very active that night. I think they came close to Kp 7 which would have been quite a show up north, but in Utah it's just a glow on the horizon. But pretty cool to catch the aurora in the desert!

This valley is full of lots of these rock hoodoo formations that are nicknamed "goblins". From Wikipedia:  The unusual stone shapes in Goblin Valley result from the weathering of Entrada sandstone. The Entrada consists of debris eroded from former highlands and redeposited on a former tidal flat of alternating layers of sandstone, siltstone, and shale. The rocks show evidence of being near the margins of an ancient sea with the ebb and flow of tides, tidal channels that directed currents back to the sea and coastal sand dunes. Joint or fracture patterns within the Entrada sandstone beds created initial zones of weakness. The unweathered joints intersected to form sharp edges and corners with greater surface-area-to-volume ratios than the faces. As a result, the edges weathered more quickly, producing the spherical-shaped 'goblins'. The Entrada sandstone from which the hoodoos developed was deposited in the Jurassic period around 170 million years ago.

Nikon D5 with the Nikon 14mm f/2.8 lens. This is a panoramic stitch of multiple images that were shot at 14mm, f/2.8, ISO 12,800, for 20 seconds each. The 20 second exposure at 14mm results in pretty small star trails but provides enough light with the D5 to capture detail in the incredibly dark foreground here in Utah. I stitched the images together in Lightroom and then edited the resulting panorama in Photoshop to bring out detail and contrast.

How to Photograph Milky Way Panoramas

LIVE on Wednesday, January 19th, 7pm US Eastern.

Join me for this free webinar where I will teach you everything you need to know to photograph Milky Way panoramas! Capturing the entire arc of our galaxy over a scene is not as hard as it might seem!

The webinar will be available for replay if you cannot make it to the live session, but you must sign up before/during the live stream in order to get the link for the live event and replay.

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Topics Covered

  • Camera Gear - Cameras, lenses, tripods
  • Panorama Gear - Nodal rails, rotators, multi-axis heads
  • Exposure Settings
  • Shooting Techniques
  • Planning panoramas with PhotoPills
  • Basics of Stitching in Software

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Portland Head Light Panorama

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We'll discuss nodal rails and rotators, and how they help with capturing panos.

Learn what techniques to use to photograph all the elements of a pano, including exposure stacking for dark scenes.

Learn how to plan your next panorama easily with PhotoPills!

Heck yah! I want to learn how to shoot Milky Way Panos!