Spring in Vermont can be magical, and we were fortunate it put on a wonderful show for our trip over Memorial Day, 2019. The flowers were blooming, the grass was a lush green, and everything just felt so alive. And while it rained (a lot), I was especially fortunate to get out for some photography between the rainstorms to find this scene near Waitsfield.
This is one of my favorite photos from recent years because it really captures the beauty of the Milky Way from a remarkable location. My cousin (the very talented Allison Otto) and I had been scoping out good weekends to take Milky Way photos from somewhere in the Colorado Rockies, but our schedules never quite aligned to make it happen. So when my wife suggested a trip to Aspen on one of those weekends, I already knew it would be a good opportunity to see the stars from nearby Independence Pass. While Aspen is certainly beautiful, Independence Pass is a marvel and one of the most spectacular passes in Colorado.
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.
When my company had a team trip to the Grand Tetons in 2016, I was super excited for the opportunity to see an incredibly beautiful mountain range. One of the activities we could choose was an early morning animal photography experience, where hypothetically we would get to see some of Wyoming’s extraordinary wildlife up close. This event turned out to be kind of a bust – we mostly stayed in a bus and drove around looking for wildlife. And while we got to see some animals here and there, it was tough taking great photos from a bus by the side of the road.