Astro photography Idaho Nikon Z9 Photography

Capturing The Valley – Star Gazing in Ketchum and Sun Valley in Winter

I decided to do a bit of star gazing this weekend.  I chose to photograph the night sky of Ketchum and Sun Valley.

Last Summer and Fall I did a couple of astrophotography photo shoots.  I hiked and climbed into the heart of the Sawtooths and captured an image from Alpine Lake looking at Monte Verita.  Last fall, I hiked back into Redfish Lake and captured an image of the lake and the Redfish Creek basin with the Grand Mogul and Mt. Heyburn front and center.

Redfish Lake with Saturn on High.
The Heart of the Milky Way from Alpine Lake.


The town of Sun Valley with the Sun Valley Resort in center. A satellite is moving across the sky right to left and I capture the image.
Bald Mountain a few hours before dawn.

In the shot of Bald Mountain, I was able to capture an image with the Snow Cat grooming as is passes near the Lookout or top chairlifts with its headlights starring straight ahead towards me.

*** Jeff Thoughts and Other Worthless Trivia ***

The shoot was a bit tricky. Snowfall was the theme for the past week. The skies were projected to clear about three hours before dawn. The implication was I needed climb up to my shooting location and be ready to photograph between about 4-4:30 AM. If I arrive as planned I have about 1:45 to 1:30 to shoot before Astrological Twilight would begin.

I needed to climb about 700 vertical feet to get to my desired shooting location. I had about 40-45 lbs. of camera gear on my back. The skies proved to be clear and the temperature was between 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately a steady breeze of 5-7 mph was present at my shooting location. According to the US National Weather Service the effective temperature was -10.7 Fahrenheit.

Therefore, the shoot involved switching between protective gear and photographing.

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