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Alabama Hills at Night, California, USA by Rajesh Jyothiswaran

I had seen some phenomenal pictures by great artists like Marc Adamus, Ryan Dyar and Miles Morgan that involve a very photogenic cactus called Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus polycephalus) which is also referred to with a few other names and one of which is totally inappropriate.

So my goal was to find a cluster of those cacti to photograph especially for the night sky. I stumbled up on this cluster of Barrel Cacti during the day while scouting. I can’t remember a time previously I worked an image so much in the field. I must have spent a good one hour fussing over the composition. Eventually I settled upon a vertorama or a vertical panorama of three horizontal frames.

Alabama Hills on the foothills of Sierra Nevada near Lone Pine, California is a landscape photographer’s delight while also being a great dark sky location. Unique compositions can be and will be found. One has to just look for them.


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Camera Sony Alpha a7R II
Lens Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2
Aperture f/2
S/S 10sec
ISO 10000
Additional Notes Sky: 10 exposures stacked in Starry Landscape StackerMiddleground: 5 exposures focus stackedForeground: 10 exposures focus stacked
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About Author 

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Rajesh Jyothiswaran, is a self taught photographer. A chance realization of his own latent photography skills, when a smartphone photo of his native plant garden in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas went viral led to the purchase of his first DSLR. His interests range from macro to astro though landscape and astrophotography in places rarely photographed excite him the most. Photography has taken him on a path of self-discovery, learning, and meaningful friendships across the world. His images have been displayed at several exhibitions, He has also won several awards for his work including the 2017 International Landscape Photographer of the Year Top 101 award and a Top 10 finalist in the Smithsonian 15th Annual Photo Contest. Born and raised in India, Rajesh lives in North Texas with his wife and two daughters. He aspires to continue growing as an artist and be a source of inspiration to others.

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