Milky Way Rising

Milky Way Rising

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The Watchman overlooks the Milky Way rising before sunrise in the early hours of a spring day in Zion National Park.

The beauty of Zion National Park is overwhelming. As you descend into the canyon, you are engulfed by towering cliffs and immersed in a land seemingly untouched by civilization. And as incredible as this place is during the day, it’s even more stunning after dark. Watching planets and stars wheel through the sky while the wind rushes through the canyon is surreal. You feel completely separated from reality, as if time doesn’t exist.

We wanted to capture these feelings of wonder and awe with this project. After hiking all day, we scouted out our location and positioned the tripod and camera before sunset, then waited for the core of the Milky Way to rise high over the Watchman around 4:30 am. We tried to nap off and on, but were just too excited and couldn’t keep our eyes off the sky.

This image epitomizes the close collaboration maintained between the Estes & Schmitt cofounders, Blake Estes and Sam Deery-Schmitt. Blake processed the data Sam captured, resulting in this spectacular image.

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