I love traveling to the mainland United States. Every time I’m there I feel so inspired, grateful and blessed to live in one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. A few weeks ago I was out in the Southwest, California, Nevada, etc. and had the opportunity to go get lost in the California wilderness for a while.  Of course, I brought my camera!

There must have been billions of stars above my head at night. The sky was so clear and so vast and absolutely no ambient light anywhere. One of my favorite things to do is to photograph stars and especially the Milky Way if the opportunity arises. Well, thankfully, the opportunity did arise. I found this old train car in the middle of an old ghost town. It looked so cool and I was surprised it wasn’t covered in graffiti. I knew I had to shoot it.

Since I was testing out my new Nikon D850 I was eager to try it in low light situations, and well, this was about as low of light as I could get! The sun had set about an hour or so ago and the sky was pretty dark. I could see the remnants of a little glow to the west, but virtually nothing. Stars were already out in full force and I had to use a headlamp to setup my camera. I plugged in my shutter release cable, adjusted my settings and started clicking the shutter.

Immediately I got this huge glow and a trillion stars lit up my scene. I had to do a double take. I looked up at the sky, then back at the camera, again up to the sky, again back to the camera.  Wow! My camera had been able to capture so many more stars than I could see with my eyes and the low noise level of the picture on the LCD screen was mind blowing. Needless to say, I photographed the stars in California that night for a long time. I couldn’t get enough of their beauty.

When I got back and started editing this image I was amazed at the improvement in low light capabilities this camera had over the last version I was using. I also became even more energized to go out and push the limits. Photograph more this year and share more images with you folks. I think I might even provide some tutorials along the way. And hey, if you want to come out shooting with me, I can arrange that too.  Check out this new link!

Update: The image you see here, called Old 3303 was a standout at the International Photographic Competition put on by the Professional Photographer’s of America in 2019. It is also available for purchase starting at under $20 here!