Congrats to Quynh Ton for winning the Starry Night Assignment!
“I had come to Picture Lake at Mount Baker National Park, WA many times in the past five years prior to shooting this photo and always envisioned the best way to depict this picturesque location. In May 2013 I took a night photography class where I leaned about shooting the Milky Way. Another group member and I made a plan to shoot the Milky Way at this location. We needed clear skies when the stars were bright. It had to be on a certain day when the Milky Way is at a perfect location with the mountain. It had to be on a weekday so that we didn’t have to deal with bumping into many other photographers. In August 2013 four of us started shooting around 10 pm when the sky was completely dark. It was a time consuming process: 3 rows x 15 columns for a total of 45 pictures at 25 sec/picture. I only had time to shoot 2 series before the Milky Way moved too far right and off center of the mountain. I stitched the pictures together in Photoshop using the Photomerge function. After merging, the picture bent upward. One group member found out we could use the Warp function to manually pull its horizontal line straight to produce the final version of the picture,” describes Ton.