I recently returned from an amazing seven-day photo shoot through the Eagle Cap Wilderness of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Hiking in high elevations gave me time to focus on nature and capture clear dark skies away from light pollution.  My days were spent climbing up switchbacks, through streams, and around alpine lakes full of fresh snowmelt. The skies down below looked hazy with smoke from summer fires, but the air cleaned out at higher altitudes. The nice thing about getting to higher elevations is that there are less people and more views. I spent my nights capturing images of the Milky Way and meteors during what I call my ‘Blue Hour’. This is the time where the center of the sun is 12 degrees below the horizon, and only general or vague outlines of horizon are visible. It provided me with just enough light to capture most of the visual elements of the landscape. This is why I advocate preserving our night skies and use my images to educate the public about the effects of light pollution.

about author Brad Goldpaint

Brad Goldpaint is a photographer specializing in landscapes, seascapes, and astrophotography ranging from high altitude wilderness areas and coastal ranges, to time lapse videos of the Milky Way. Explore more of his work at goldpaintphotography.com.

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