Dear Ones, warm August greetings to you.
As the recent new moon of 28 July approached I began imagining an astrophotography composition that would include a tree under the Milky Way. I thought of Heather Meadows, an oft-visited locale out the Mount Baker Scenic Byway, just below famed Artist Point.
I arrived at the alpine wonderland of Heather Meadows around 4 pm the day after the new moon, cooked up some dinner in the camper van, and then scouted a location for a night shot to determine exactly where the tripod would be set. Then I happily read the last chapters of the engaging James Twyman book, Giovanni and the Camino of St. Francis, until the sun set behind a ridge to the west.
As twilight moved into darkness I began making images, watching the Milky Way rise until its position suited the composition, a bit after midnight. And so was born “Midnight at Heather Meadows,” with the Milky Way reflecting in lower Bagley Lake, a centerpiece of this area situated under Table Mountain within the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State’s Whatcom County. From the parking lot you can reach this scenic spot in just a quarter of a mile of walking.
The astro-modified camera I use for nightscapes is highly light-sensitive, enabling me to raise the shadows in post-processing to reveal terrain that appears entirely dark while shooting. For me, this image is an apparition, a painting of light that captures the feeling of wonderment I carried on that exciting Friday night in the Cascades. Thank you for checking out the view!
This image and many other James K. Papp photographs can be purchased in various print options (framed or unframed) including greeting cards. Please see our Photography Gallery Page for images and links to our partner fulfillment companies. Thank you for your interest!