Milky Way, Kamzang trekking camp



This is a composite view of the Kamzang trekking camp on the night of August 18/19, 2014 at Bear Valley deep in the Zanskar Range of northwest India. The Zanskar mountains are northeast of Great Himalaya Range and in their rain shadow so visibility is excellent. The location is a rarely visited valley at 3936m that’s two days trekking from the nearest village.

The image is a composite of 47 photographs: 7 of the campsite during evening twilight, 22 of the sky, and 18 of the surrounding hoodoos, valley and mountains taken before dawn the following morning. All were captured with a Canon 6D and Sigma 35mm f/1.4. I used an AstroTrac for the sky photographs. Exposures for the camp and valley ranged between 1/30s and 30s, f/5.0 at ISO 6400 and for the sky 30s, f/1.4 at ISO 1600.

RAW files of the sky were processed using Adobe Bridge and Photoshop CS6 using settings recommended by Roger N. Clark ( who also gave me great advice on gear. Land and sky panoramas were assembled with PTGui Pro then combined using Photoshop. The full size image is approximately 13,000 x 10,000 pixels.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM “Art”
Imaging cameras: Canon 6D
Mounts: AstroTrac TT320X-AG
Software: Adobe Bridge,  PTGui Pro,  Adobe Photoshop CS6
Resolution: 6373×5050
Dates: Aug. 18, 2014
Frames: 22×30″ ISO1600
Integration: 0.2 hours
Avg. Moon age: 22.61 days
Avg. Moon phase: 45.04%
Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 1.00
Locations: Bear Valley Camp, Zanskar, Jammu and Kasmir, India
Author: David J Roberts