Shame on me.
Towards the end of January, Preston and I took a trip out to the edge of town (and then some) to see if we could capture the night sky.
I, naturally, forgot my tripod. And gloves. And a headlamp.
No worries! I brought with my a portable 3 legged stool that I used to hold the camera, borrowed Preston's headlamp and simply went without gloves. (I now keep a pair in my photo bag full time).
I ended up with this as my final image.
Shot it at 20 seconds, F2.8, ISO 6400.
Having maxed out the ISO on my D300s, I spent a fair amount of time in photoshop working on this image to try and reduce some of the noise.
I don't have any fancy programs or plugins to deal with that sort of thing, so I took a bit of advice from the Internet and gave it a go.
Luckily for me, Flagstaff is the world's first "Dark Sky City," which means we can see a LOT of stars on any given night. The only hard part from there is to grab an interesting foreground of some variety.
The orange glow you see is the lights from Flagstaff. Our street lights are seriously that orange.
This image looks OK (ish) on the web but would absolutely NOT reproduce well in print. I think I will spend more time working on this concept and see where I can get with it in the future. Some kind of serious noise reduction software would likely serve well for this. So would a new camera body... but let's not go there.