Congratulations to Harry Lichtman for winning the recent Shooting Stars assignment with the image, “Star Lake.” See more of Lichtman’s photography at www.harrylichtman.com.
View the winning image and a selection of submissions in the image gallery below. And be sure to check out our current photography assignment here and enter your best shots!
“Star Lake is an alpine tarn in New Hampshire's Presidential Range, sitting at approximately 4,820 feet between Mounts Madison and Adams,” explains Lichtman. “I loved that Mount Madison can be composed behind the lake and have taken daylight and sunrise images here but never night shots. The lichen-covered rocks were a major attraction for me in this particular composition. I'm generally not a night shooter, so this was a bit of a learning process of trial and error. I ended up taking a base exposure of the scene about 45 minutes after sunset during the blue hour using a Nikon D810 and Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 lens at 15mm, ISO 200 and a 10 sec. exposure at f/8. Leaving the camera in place on my Gitzo Mountaineer tripod, I returned just after midnight to capture the night sky and surrounding landscape. The setting moon was out and added some nice shadows to the rocks and peak. The star exposure was at ISO 4000 and 20 sec. at f/2.8. The wind created the milky appearance in the water during the long exposure. I tried taking single exposures of the scene at higher ISOs, but I ended up layering the blue hour exposure with the high ISO night image for a much better print. When post processing, I desaturated the sky a bit to give it more a feel of what my eyes saw in the night.”