A website FAQ asks:
What is there to do at Redfish Lake?
Relax and enjoy the scenery! Rent a boat from the Marina to explore the lake on your own. Sunbathe on the sandy beach. Hike: there are plenty of trails around to lead you to gorgeous backcountry. Saddle up at the Redfish Corrals. Stop by the Redfish Lake Visitor’s Center. Eat a hearty meal in the restaurant. Sip a cocktail in the lounge. Gaze at the Milky Way in the crystal clear night sky. Fish a nearby stream.
While did not do most of the leisurely stuff described above, I did get to gaze in wonderment at the Milky Way in a really dark sky area. I had wanted to shoot a panorama of tracked longer focal length shots for some time. A well known astro photographer Eric Benedetti shoots spectacular Milky Way panoramas in this fashion. He also shoots them mostly in this area which gave me the motivation to try something similar. This was shot the night before the Great American Eclipse from the nearby Stanley Lake.
I used a star tracker to gather more star light than I could without a tracker. For the ground portion, the tracker was turned off. A total of 30 exposures were then stitched into a panorama. I also used a 55mm lens which is more commonly used for portraits. Apples to apples, a longer lens gathers more light than a wide angle lens. (You can read about Clear Aperture Ratio here : http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/nightscapes/)
My biggest challenge with this panorama is blending the sky and ground parts like it would be in one large wide angle shot. Thanks to John Burge for the pointers. John shoots some fantastic longer length panos (85mm and above). Do check out his work..
The peaks which frame the lake at its south end are
· Mount Heyburn at 10,229 ft (3,118 m) on the Right
· Grand Mogul at 9,733 feet (2,967 m) on the left
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On the evening we arrived in Stanley, Idaho for for the Great American Solar Eclipse, we visited the Redfish Lake which we were informed was going to be closed for public during the eclipse and accessible only by the campers. My friends and I wanted to take advantage of the access when we had it, to shoot the Milky Way shortly after sunset.
After I shot a couple of compositions we were packing up when my friend Christopher Jackson showed us this composition he had found with the Milky Way nicely framed by evergreen trees. I shamelessly shot the same compostition and Chris was game enough to even light paint the trees for us.