Your shopping cart is empty.
Subscribe and save 20% off your first order! Click here!
Jun 17, 2020
I'm usually hesitant to name an image as "the best" — but after a trip through the Ozarks Mountains recently, I'll go ahead and say it: "Milky Way Over Boxley Valley" is my best photo of 2020.
And probably will remain so until the calendar turns to next year.
To capture the Milky Way with all the colors of the gas clouds in a beautiful location like the Ozark Mountains was a chance of a lifetime — and produced an eye-popping photo.
What doesn't this image have?
• The Milky Way: Check
• A cool old barn: Check
• A mountain in the background: Check
• Fireflies dancing in the field behind the barn: Check.
Yep, look closely at the image and you'll see the phosphorescent bulbs of fireflies.
I captured the photo about 10:30 p.m. after a sunset went bust. I had hiked into Hawksbill Crag near Ponca, Ark., with dreams of shooting an epic end of the day, but the clouds dissipated as the sun raced to the horizon.
So I trudged out in the dark, figuring my day was done.
On a whim, I pulled out my phone and check an astrology app to discover the Milky Way was hugging the horizon, which I figured meant I wouldn't see it because of the mountains.
I was wrong. I stopped at a field full of fireflies and decided to try and capture the dancing night bugs — and when I looked at the back of the camera I could see the Milky Way peaking above the mountain that was only about 100 yards away.
Instantly I knew I needed to get to an old barn I had passed earlier in the day because the there mountains were farther away, which meant the Milky Way should be more visible.
And I was right on target.
The trick was that it was late at night, and the landowner's home was 30 yards from where I needed to set up. Every light seemed to be on inside the house, so I was convinced I would probably be run away.
I pulled the truck into the gravel driveway to the barn just enough to get it off the road, and as quietly as possible I gathered my gear from the bed of the truck.
Working quickly and quietly, I set up and made a test shot that really showed the Milky Way. I moved my tripod a bit to the right to make the best use of the barn in the foreground and readied an LED light to balance out the scene with the barn.
When the light came to life, I KNEW the landowner would come out yelling.
I was standing about 20 yards from my camera to side light the barn, using a wireless remote to trip the shutter.
It took about three shots to get the exposure correct, and then I rechecked my focus and shot a couple of frames.
I'll be honest: I didn't even know the fireflies were in the field until I processed the image the next morning.
So will I shoot a better photo than "Milky Way Over Boxley Valley" in the final six months of 2020? Maybe, but it's going to be a challenge.
Fortunately, I'm going to be traveling all over the country and will have ample opportunities to capture a new personal best.
The presence of this badge signifies that this business has officially registered with the Art Storefronts Organization and has an established track record of selling art.
It also means that buyers can trust that they are buying from a legitimate business. Art sellers that conduct fraudulent activity or that receive numerous complaints from buyers will have this badge revoked. If you would like to file a complaint about this seller, please do so here.
The Art Storefronts Organization has verified that this business has provided a returns & exchanges policy for all art purchases.
All of my fine-art prints come with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. I want you to be thrilled with your purchase, so if you aren't 100% satisfied a full refund will be issued upon return of the product within 30 days of your purchase. If your print arrives damaged or otherwise deficient, I will gladly accept returns and send you a replacement! Please use the Contact form to initiate returns and exchanges.
This website provides a secure checkout with SSL encryption.
The Art Storefronts Organization has verified that this Art Seller has published information about the archival materials used to create their products in an effort to provide transparency to buyers.
All products are printed by one of the nation's finest printers using professional materials guaranteed to provide years of enjoyment. All fine-art prints use acid-free archival papers and inks.
Subscriber to my newsletter and I'll send you a 20% OFF discount code right now!
This is only visible to you because you are logged in and are authorized to manage this website. This message is not visible to other website visitors.
Click on any Image to continue
The above preview shows how to use the live preview on this website. The image displayed is just an example, and is not available for sale.
This means you can use the camera on your phone or tablet and superimpose any piece of art onto a wall inside of your home or business.
To use this feature, Just look for the "Live Preview AR" button when viewing any piece of art on this website!
Below, select which favorite lists you would like to save this product into.
SAVE 20% on your first print order!
Enter your email below and I'll email you a 20% OFF coupon right now!
Code valid for new subscribers only, not valid for gift cards.