RBA Premium Astrophotography

Locations: Other

There are other places I've been to do astrophotography: Mount Hamilton (during summer as a volunteer at their SVP events - otherwise access to the summit of Mount Hamilton is not allowed after sunset, rules from the Lick Observatory that sits up right at the summit), Lake San Antonio (home of the yearly CalStar star party with nice skies all around), Coyote Lake, some odd areas at Big Sur, Adin (the site for the GSSP, outstanding black-zone skies), Monte Cristo's Castle (home of the Central Nevada Star Party, with some of the darkest skies in the country), Glacier Point in Yosemite, Bonny Doon and some crazy rides I've taken to really far (and dark!) sites such as Alvord Desert in Oregon...

And likely there'll be other - more or less local - sites I might eventually get to go: Lake Sonoma, Pinnacles, the Oak Ridge Observatory, an "unexplored" area south of Big Sur (not far from the place where I've got the astrophotography bug), and who knows where else. As I visit those - and/or other - sites, I will be updating these pages.

Of course, all the above sites - with the exception of Glacier Point - are "astrophotography sites" that offer dark skies but little to no excitement for my other passion, night landscape photography or nightscapes.

For nightscape sites, while darkness is a plus, the landscape becomes the dominant factor, and so the number of places to visit is rather large, mainly because rather than an established site like Dinosaur Point or Henry Coe's parking lots, the photographer looks - within sometimes a vast area - for that special vantage point.

And in that regards, California is certainly gifted! Not only it has more National Parks than any other state in the US, but even at the State level it ranks among the top 3 with 126 State Parks, 8 State Forest and 11 State Wildlife Areas, and some of the most unique landscapes one can find in the World: Yosemite, Big Sur, Inyo, Sequoia, Death Valley, Lassen, Tahoe... So as far as nigthscape locations go, I'd just recommend to dive into any of the many national or state parks and nearby places, do a bit of research, and surely you'll find vantage points that will satisfy you plenty!

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