Star Trails Over Mt. Rainier – An Unsuccessful Photograph

The image was taken at Reflection Lake, Mt. Rainier after midnight on 25th August. To minimize noise from long exposure, I took 15  6-minute exposures, timing to start from 3:45am, with the hope of catching some bluish pre-sunrise twilight around 5am to brighten up the foreground, which were some nice greenish marsh patches. During the shooting, some cars’ headlight had been cast on the trees on the left side, which was OK. Tiny white light was seen on the right ridge of the mountain that was from hikers at Camp Muir. A meteor was also caught to the right of the mountain. Things seemed alright. Until the last three exposures.

Pre-dawn condensation accumulated on the front element of my lens and the last three exposures were totally foggy and could not be used for the stacking.

Without these last few frames, the stacked photograph has an underexposed foreground.

It was an oversight of mine. I should have thought of that and prevented it with something, such as (as suggested by my friend, who also encountered the same problem) tying some hand warmers around the lens.

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