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“Land of the Yankee Fork” – Eric Benedetti

  • Idaho, USA

This is a shot from a hillside overlooking Yankee Fork Valley in central Idaho, which is lush and green from an incredible amount of water that melts from the heavy winter snow.

38 exposures total went into making it, altogether it took nearly 2 hours to capture all the images starting from the left (north). At first, I was a little upset because it appeared that there was a tremendous amount of light pollution along the northern horizon, but there are no towns in the area, nothing that could produce that kind of light pollution. It wasn’t until I had driven down into the valley later that night to take some more shots, that I realized it was something I had always wanted to see an image of, a legitimate bucket list item, the Aurora Borealis! That night, a spectacular Northern Lights show was on display. I have never been so happy to be out imaging the night sky in my entire life, something I will never forget. The purples/pinks/reds/greens from the lights combined with an absolutely ridiculous amount of green and red airglow helped produce the most colorful image I’ve ever put together.

This is a personal reminder; you never know what new and amazing things you’ll get to experience when you go out shooting at night; always take advantage of any time you can get under clear night skies. 38 exposures stitched together (no stacking), all shot back to back with my Nikon D800E and Sigma Art 50mm lens on a Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer. All exposures are 2 minutes at ISO 1600, sky shots at f2.8, foreground at f1.4.

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