Star trails at Kings Canyon National Park

Photo: Sathish Jothikumar/Flickr

Night skies in the national parks

Camera and tripod in hand, photographer Sathish Jothikumar goes to great lengths to capture incredible images of the night sky, often braving harsh weather conditions or trekking through darkness to get the perfect photograph. On his Flickr page, Jothikumar describes his inspired awe:

As a photographer, as soon as I encounter a night sky, my mind starts pondering over composition details, including finding the Pole Star, the Milky Way and identifying constellations, as well as calculating correct exposure lengths for both star trails and night-sky time-lapses.

But as a human being, I sometimes just step back and stand in amazement at the kaleidoscope of stars that come out in such a dark sky. I have lost many such nights out in the wilderness gaping in awe at this starry starry sky, trying to trace out intricate details and patterns, catching the fleeting moment of glory of a bright meteor and tracking satellites as they fade in and out of existence.

And once I get sight of the Milky Way rising out of the horizon like a Phoenix from the Ashes, I get completely lost in just admiring the sheer majesty of our parent galaxy, especially its bright center. It strongly defines our miniscule place in the mighty Universe.

His hard work and passion for the wonders of the natural world mesh beautifully to create some of the most incredible night sky images, like the one above that was captured in Kings Canyon National Park.

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Milky Way at Yosemite National Park

Photo: Sathish Jothikumar/Flickr

Yosemite National Park

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Star trails at Death Valley National Park

Photo: Sathish Jothikumar/Flickr

Death Valley National Park

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Anna Norris is an associate editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.
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