Monday, August 6, 2012

Stargazing at Slippery Elm Trail in Bowling Green

I took some advice from other bloggers and scouted a location during the day that I would return to later that night. Bowling Green, Ohio is surrounded by corn and soybean fields. These large flat areas away from city lights would be ideal, but all are private property with plenty of No Trespassing signs posted.

Another option would be to pull over on the side of a country road and set up my tripod there. This way I wouldn't be trespassing, but I would be running the risk of car headlights ruining shots, or getting hit by a car doing 90 mph in the middle of nowhere.

bowling green slippery elm trail
Mile marker along the Slippery Elm Trail
The best solution appears to be the Slippery Elm Trail. The paved bike path is a renovated railroad route that cuts through fields and under highways. It seems to be the best way to get into the middle of nowhere without trespassing - the only drawback is that the park officially closes an hour after sunset.
bowling green slippery elm trail

The location delivered, and I ended up getting some decent photos with both the Canon Rebel XT that I'm borrowing, and my own Canon Powershot A3100IS. My best Powershot images are below.

star trails over bowling green

canon powershot iso 1600
15sec at ISO 1600, possible Milky Way light or just clouds
The sky was much darker than it appears in the image. I think the low haze catches the light to make it appear brighter than it really is. I think on a night without haze this will be a pretty stellar location!

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