Taking astrophotos can be a challenge – you need to be in the right place (dark skies) at the right time (little moonlight) with the right weather (no clouds) at the right time of year (the Milky Way is only visible in the warmer months of the Northern Hemisphere). Fortunately, all of this worked in my favor on my backpacking trip to Quartz Lake in August, letting me take a truly dream come true photo of Mars and the Milky Way together in the night sky. There was a reason I lugged all of my heavy camera gear up and over a mountain pass, and this was it.
Weather can sometimes be surprising, but few weather experiences have been more surprising than spending an entire trip in the warm Scottish sunshine. Now I’m sure Scotland gets some sun here and there, but this trip was sunny in a way that felt more Mediterranean. The sky in Inverness had that look that I associate with summers in America, where the air was bright, warm, and hazy. This often causes me trouble for photos because the haze tends to mute light and color, while at the same time there are usually very few interesting clouds to balance a scene. Fortunately, Inverness gave me something to work with during this sunset.