On a clear night

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I’d been shooting the Flint Hills with fellow photographer, Doug Stremel, and the skies were so clear that we decided not to let the setting sun stop us. We headed out to Bloomington Beach at Clinton Reservoir, and found the water was so high that the swimming beach was not to be seen. In fact, the edge of the parking lot itself gradually drifted off into lake. The partially submerged trees made for some interesting subjects as the sky continued to darken and the stars came out.

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The milky way was low on the horizon, but it was still incredible how much light was striking our camera sensors in what appeared to our eyes to be near pitch blackness. A small flashlight or our iPhones were all it took to shine a little light on the roads and make the reflective stripes light up.

My favorite shot of the night, however, came from a brief stop at the Clinton Store. The streetlight there is sodium vapor or some such thing and casts a sickly green light on the intersection. That color became amplified in the images but I explored different white balances to try and reduce it, stumbling across this one that left a bit of a cold blue on the building and moved the sky to a rich plum/purple. I find night photography fascinating and plan to do a lot more of it in the future.

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