First night on John Muir Trail
JMT DAY 1 - MILKY WAY OVER MT. LYELL AND FORK BELOW DONOHUE PASS
Tuolumne Meadows to first lake below Donohue Pass: JMT201801002
Night fell at the first lake below Donohue Pass. Contrary to my worry that the night sky would be quite hazy by the smoke from the Ferguson Fire, the heavenly body stayed clear and the stars shone bright. Of course, the Milky Way was going to be erected quite vertically by the time when it was dark enough for it to be seen since it was already early August.
The upside of it was that I didn’t have to wait too long to capture the galactic core fully seen even though it wasn’t late. For instance, it was already clearly visible at around 9:45 pm PST, as opposed to close to midnight if it were some time in June. The downside of it of course was that the duration of the galaxy traversing the night sky was a whole lot shorter. In fact, it was pretty much half the duration, compared to some time in June.
I knew that me being near the outlet of the lake would not let me be able to frame Mt. Lyell and its adjacent peaks AND the Milky Way together when it rose. So, I had scouted father down Lyell Fork and found a spot that I could work with. Once it was dark, I returned to the spot and composed my shot.
It had been a long day. I didn’t even eat dinner till I was done with the sunset shots. And when I did, I chowed it down fast so that I could be ready for astrophotography. Did I already mention that I had been lugging a 70 plus lb backpack during the day? The camera gear alone weighed 30 lb. I was physically exhausted. But I wanted to make the whole experience of being out there worthwhile. And I was truly a happy camper capturing the beautiful moments on the first night on the John Muir Trail.
Donohue Pass, Yosemite National Park, CA
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H Peter Ji © 2018