On June 29th (Saturday), we’ll meet up for a few hours of night photography. The Milky Way core should be visible shortly after sundown so we can start shooting early. We'll only be 2 ½ hours from home, but camping is available at the Pinnacles, and inexpensive lodging is available in Ridgecrest.
We’ll probably meet up around 7:30 p.m. at the pinnacles. We need to allow adequate time to scout your location and set up your equipment before dark. There is likely to be other photographers, so running around in the dark with lights trying to set up will disturb others.
Trona Pinnacles is about a 2 ½ hour drive north of Lancaster and 20 miles east of Ridgecrest. The Trona Pinnacles are an unusual geological formation. The unusual landscape consists of more than 500 tufa spires, some as high as 140 feet, rising from the bed of the Searles Lake basin.
The unusual landscape and dark sky makes Trona Pinnacles one of the most popular nightscape destinations in the west.
The final 3 miles or so of the drive are a rough dirt road. An average car can make it with care, but personally, if I had two cars, I wouldn't drive my nicer car. Any SUV will be fine. You'll probably see RVs in the parking area, so it isn't too bad of a road.
For equipment, bring your widest angle lens, F2.8 - 1.4 is preferred, but this is a fun trip, so if you have a lens with a F3.5 or 4.5, don't hesitate to come out, you'll be surprised what you can get with an older camera like a Canon 3Ti and a kit lens.
Bring a sturdy Tripod and a red headlamp.
Updates and more detailed travel instructions to come.
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