Satellite view of Jim Bob Art Park and Nature Trail (Google Earth)
A few miles north of Benjamin is the Jim Bob Art Park and Nature Trail. It is a privately owned park by the Bisbee family. The park was created in remembrance to James Robert Bisbee (Jim Bob as the locals called him). http://penelopebisbee.com On the far west view of the park is swing where visitors can take in the amazing view of "The Narrows" of Knox County. Sitting at an elevation of 1568ft the views from this plateau are quite impressive and would make for some excellent sunset photography and being in a rural area we were expecting a great view of the night sky.
We arrive to the park just in time to catch the sun going down. I was only able to make one image of with the sun in the frame. I would like to come back and shoot more sunsets at this location. Members of the RRPC gathered all their gear and began shooting the sunset over the amazing vista.
|Beautiful sunset over "The Narrows".|
|After the sun went down we were greeted with some really nice crepuscular rays.|
Once the sun set it was time to start setting up for some night photography. Some of us started to shoot some of the stars other's kept photographing the landscape, and some just sat enjoying the scene. The waxing gibbous moon was shining very bright and was painting the landscape in a soft glow. But we could not make the milky way out just yet.
|A group of the RRPC waiting on the moon to go down. It was a smart idea to bring some lawn chairs.|
|You can start to see some of the milky way in the upper left corner of the photo.|
A lot of the members went home after 12am (understandably so) while the moon was still out and harsh. But there are ways to pass the time.
|Milky way now starting to come out and the setting moon sinking below the horizon. The bright light in the center is a ranch in the area.|
|This was my money shot! This is a panorama consisting of 46 individual photos stitched together for an ultra wide angle view of the milky way and night sky. See it much better here. I spent more than a half hour getting the shots for this image. I, again, did not want the light pollution/ground haze interfering with the view of the night sky. It took almost five hours for me to stitch and process this image, but it was so worth it! I think this is my favorite milky way image to date!|
Timelapse video of the moon set and milky way. If you watch closely you will see an iridium flare from a passing satellite and a short lived meteor.
After I finished the series of photos I was satisfied. It was now 4am and we debated staying out longer and catch the sunrise of the breaks. We decided to go ahead and call it a night and gathered up our gear and began the drive home. I got back to my apartment around 6am browsed few some of the photos and slept until 1pm that afternoon. It was a really awesome field trip and I'd love to go back there again. Though next time I think we will plan it during a new moon.