I've been fascinated by the airglow phenomena for a few years now... I noticed when I'd be at extremely dark sites (and sometimes not so dark sites) the sky appeared the flicker. I would just attribute it to my brain acting funny because of the lack of sleep... but I kept noticing it. Started getting into timelapse work and noticed green waves showing up in the videos. At first I thought they were clouds lit by light pollution so I color corrected them out in post processing. But then I noticed it in the black zone skies of northern Death Valley and I realized there had to be something there. I'd also seen it in a few other astro timelapses around the net and decided to do more research, eventually leading me to airglow. I had heard of it before and never really thought much of it... there are plenty of optical phenomena that seem to go unnoticed until you point it out. Zodiacal light for one, hell you'd be hard pressed to find an amateur astronomer who didn't mistake the rising milky way for clouds at first at some point in their pursuits to stay up all night observing.
I wanted to see how much I could capture and I was able to get five days off work around Memorial Day weekend. I needed a sensitive camera and a fast lens so I rented a Canon 6D to use with my Tokina 11-16mm (at 16mm). Also used my T3 with an 8mm f3.5 fisheye. I needed to go somewhere DARK, DRY, and HIGH. Here is where the White Mountains come in. East of the Sierra Nevadas and north of Death Valley, they receive very very little in the way of moisture. The closest town is Bishop which causes a tiny light dome to the west. And this campground is at 8,400 feet, making it ideal for transparent skies. First night I arrived it was snowing, second night was very hazy (as you'll see in some clips) but the last two nights were absolutely mind boggling dark, and by dark I mean full of lights from all different far away places.
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