The short wait for forever

The short wait for forever

 

Photography is not for the impatient. Even less forgiving for wait-haters is astrophotography, particular in the cloudy Pacific Northwest. Last winter I longed for new views of the galactic center of the Milky Way, but I had to wait a painfully long time before I could get back out and try out some new techniques (both in-field and in post-processing). Throughout the spring, banks of clouds stretching hundreds of miles wide would roll in with the new moon, frustrating stargazers and star photographers all over the region.

This year, I vowed to save a number of my Milky Way photos back for the winter of 2014/2015 so that I would have something to process. And then, months after this decision, I thought long and hard about my course of action. And then I asked myself: Why? What am I waiting for?

So yesterday I did what enjoy: I dug up some old files of the Milky Way and an abandoned house that I had photographed in May, processed them, and shared them with the world. And I drank some dark coffee (a whole pot of it, in fact). And I listened to music, probably too loudly. And I had fun doing it. Funny how that works.

Somewhere in the subtext here (as well as the title of the photo) is a lesson on waiting to do something you enjoy. I’ve chosen to live a life in which I express part of myself through photography, and these photos juxtaposing ancient stars and not-nearly-as-ancient homesteads make me think (and feel) deeply about the permanence of the things we humans build in our environment, the transitory objects we think of as durable and long-lasting. Stargazing (even if its via a photo) affords us a rare opportunity to reflect on our tiny place in an impossibly giant universe.

Anyhow, in the interest of learning more about this section of the sky, I’ve also included a labeled version of the photo for your perusal. Click on it to make it large. Enjoy!

 

An abandoned house sits beneath the Milky Way in rural Oregon.

An annotated version of the same photo.

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