Star trails, © Rachele Matteucci

3rd Place: Wild Lands. Photo by Rachele Matteucci

Three 6 minute exposures combined in startrails.exeIf only I had the 5Dii instead of the 40D to shoot this. I honestly could not make out the waterfall or any other details with my eye. I’m impressed the 40D was able to do this with a manageable noise level.Exploring the night in Yosemite NP

2 Responses to “Star trails, © Rachele Matteucci”

  1. Lyn Olson

    I’m disappointed. Not being a hater…any one of these ten pictures could sit atop the shelf. And I’m very well aware of my own bias. That this image was not the winner disappoints me, though.  I can only speculate as to the reasons it is not, and they are as follows.

    1) I may have overlooked the information, but I do not remember seeing any requirement for selecting a photo other than ‘favourite’ (in which case all ten are worthy, as noted earlier).  I was unaware of any category, or degree of difficulty considerations, if they even existed.  
         While it can be technically challenging to compose a high quality star trail, the landscape images have an abundance of being in the ‘right damn place at the right damn time’ quality to them, not to mention a great deal of patience thrown in to boot, as certainly do the animal pictures.

    2)   In a sad truth for our race (the human race),
         a) more people on Earth know their astrological sign than know what the 8th planet in the Sol system is.  
         b) almost all newspapers on Earth have daily horoscope listings.  Unless some specific event is taking place, readers of most newspapers are lucky if they get one article a month regarding astronomy or cosmology.
         c) as noted by the late Carl Sagan near the beginning of chapter two of his novel “Contact”, ‘As technology developed and the cities were polluted, the nights became starless.  New generations grew to maturity wholly ignorant of the sky that had transfixed their ancestors and that had stimulated the modern age of science and technonlogy. Without even noticing, just as astronomy entered a golden age most people cut themselves off from the sky, a cosmic isolation that ended only with the dawn of space exploration.’
         We live in the generation that is the product of that ‘cosmic isolation’.

    Again, I am not taking anything away from the other entries.  This image, though, is (in my opinion) all-encompassing in revealing the boundless, almost unbelievable rugged beauty and nature of our Earth and a small fraction of where our world resides, a place we call the Universe.

    It depicts the one compound that not only is the reason we are here (water), but one that we could not remain here without.

    And in a remarkable stroke of clever dualism, the photo shows the one and only place in our Universe where water exists in liquid form (that we currently know of at least).

    This is an exquisite photograph.

    Well done.

  2. Karen Uyeno

    I would have to agree with Lyn about how it was a tough choice to pick the #1 photograph. At first, I picked this picture because it reminds me of Vincent Van Gogh’s, “The Starry Night.” Except this photograph is much more beautiful, in my opinion. Then, I changed my mind and voted for a wildlife picture and not a landscape picture because most adult animals are beautiful and their young are so cute. I also predicted that the wildlife pictures would come in first before the landscape ones, and prematurely decided to ‘jump on the bandwagon.’

    Karen

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