Panorama photograph of the milky way from the slopes of Mauna Kea.
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Three images were stitched together to create this panoramic image of the milky way as it spans across the night sky connecting Mauna Kea to Mauna Loa. The lights along the landscape are from Hilo on the left, the lava glow of Kilauea in the distance, and cars driving down Mauna Kea through the fog. Seeing this night sky on a moonless night was simply breathtaking. I hiked a hill just down from the visitors center in order to get this view point.
Hiking was an adventure. I couldn’t find the start of the path since it was so dark. I stumbled upon a couple laying under a blanket and out of courtesy I turned off my light and passed by only to trip over a rock and and completely fall down on my side. I continued up the slope embarrassed and aching, but super excited to shoot the night sky. I stopped to shoot a tree on the slope only to be lit up by another photographer which I then felt compelled to look for another location out of their way. I finally found the location that I shot this series from… out of breath. While shooting an exposure I started to notice my knee was throbbing. I reached down to notice a large tear in my pants and a lot of blood. “Bummer” These were my good pants. Then just as I was getting into shooting I got a call from my wife, waiting in the car, that she and the girls were ready to go.
© Christopher Johnson