Big Bend National Park

Phocal

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So...………………...

I leave on July 4 for a 6 day trip to Big Bend National Park. The main purpose for the trip is photographing the Milky Way with a secondary of Black Bear photographs. I have also traded in my amazing Jeep for a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek, the below photograph was taken not long after I got during a camping trip into the Texas Hill Country (Inks Lake State Park). I bought it on June 4th, so for it's one month anniversary I will be taking it off roading in Big Bend National Park. Trip is going to be a great test for this vehicle. I do plan on putting a 1.5" lift on it shortly, followed by some all terrain tires.

Subaru Crosstrek by Phocal Art, on Flickr

I plan to take the following gear:

  • EM1 x2
  • EM5
  • MZ 300mm f4.0
  • ZD 150mm f2.0
  • Voightlander 42.5mm f.95
  • ZD 14-54mm f2.8-3.5
  • Bower 7.5mm f3.5
  • MZ 8mm f1.8
  • MC-14
  • EC-14
I will be renting the 8mm fisheye, hope to do some side by side comparison shots with the Bower.

We will be setting up a basecamp at Chisos Basin with maybe a night or two in the backcountry. Backcountry trips could be camping from the Crosstrek or packing in someplace.

We will be sitting down and planning our itinerary this week...………...

And that is why I am making this post.

Anyone have some good spots to photograph the Milky Way in Big Bend National Park? Any ideas of locations to try would be greatly appreciated. This will be the first trip this year (7th of the year, we go camping once a month) that I told her it is all about the photography. The other trips have been about just having fun and taking photos to document our time. So we will see how much influence I really have in deciding on the itinerary.

Thanks in advance,

Phocal
 
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Count me as jealous. I have wanted to get to Big Bend for a long time.

If it was me, I would be using The Photographer's Ephemeris or other app to scope out some interesting places.
 

Holoholo55

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Count me as jealous. I have wanted to get to Big Bend for a long time.

If it was me, I would be using The Photographer's Ephemeris or other app to scope out some interesting places.
Someone recommended Stellarium.org. That will show where the Milky Way is in relation to your position. I guess you have to input the general position where you plan to be.
 

ralf-11

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Terlingua Creek is intersting

be careful or snakes, scorpions and drug smugglers

I also hope your Subaru doesn't blow a head gasket like both of mine have
 

Phocal

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Count me as jealous. I have wanted to get to Big Bend for a long time.

If it was me, I would be using The Photographer's Ephemeris or other app to scope out some interesting places.
Someone recommended Stellarium.org. That will show where the Milky Way is in relation to your position. I guess you have to input the general position where you plan to be.
I have the Photographers Ephemeris and PhotoPills (which is an amazing app), but I need to have ideas of where to shoot from. I have been using google earth and PhotoPills and have one spot already mapped out. What I am looking for are places to look at shooting from, ones that have some structure to include for composition (like an old building or something as well as rock formations).

Looking at Chisos Basin Campground, you might be able to get some nice shots using the Casa Grande Peak from inside, or near the campground.
It doesn't line up in the campgrounds. Was hoping to line up my tent with the peak and the milky way for a shot. Looks like I will end up with the peak to the left and the milky way to the right and my tent somewhere in there.

Terlingua Creek is intersting
Thanks, will look at it.

be careful or snakes, scorpions and drug smugglers

I also hope your Subaru doesn't blow a head gasket like both of mine have
not really worried
 

masayoshi

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Both of my Subarus (Outback 2005 and Impreza 2003) had head gasket leaks around 130K and 90K miles, respectively. Each costed $3K to repair. Recent models (Crosstrek etc) should be good.
 
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The stars were great for me from the chisos campground, but from about 1/2 around the rim would be fantastic. There are some gnarly trees for the foreground and a huge expanse for the midground. Its been a few years since I was there, but I'll see if I can dig up some highlights for you. There was a semi official "slot canyon" called devils something or other that was really fun. Pack lots of water. We spent about half our time in the mountains and half in the desert. Check out franklin mountains and caverns of sonora as side trips. Have fun, looking forward to your shots.
 
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Devil's Den and dog canyon. We hiked up through the slot and back down the rim. It required a little scrambling, but your new climbing skills should let you breeze through it. Trickiest part for us was a bunch of bees in one of the potholes. If I remember right, route finding to the base is a little tricky, but you can see the slot from the main road and just head up the wash in the right general direction. There used to be a trail marker where you leave the wash, you should check alltrails or something for up to date info, though.
 

Phocal

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Devil's Den and dog canyon. We hiked up through the slot and back down the rim. It required a little scrambling, but your new climbing skills should let you breeze through it. Trickiest part for us was a bunch of bees in one of the potholes. If I remember right, route finding to the base is a little tricky, but you can see the slot from the main road and just head up the wash in the right general direction. There used to be a trail marker where you leave the wash, you should check alltrails or something for up to date info, though.
thanks, it's been added to my list. trouble is list is longer than I have time, so still trying to nail things down. weather will determine a lot...………….I may not have any clear skies to photograph the Milky Way.
 
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