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Author Topic: Milky Way over Fajada Butte  (Read 961 times)

arlon

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Milky Way over Fajada Butte
« on: September 12, 2016, 05:55:27 PM »

I did a quick trip to Chaco Canyon a few weeks ago and was lucky to have clear moonless nights. As photographer unfriendly as Chaco Canyon National Historical Park is, I still managed a few shots I liked.

This was the Milky Way over Fajada Butte which is sacred to the native people of the time as I understand it (2 vertical images stitched in APP).

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MattBurt

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Re: Milky Way over Fajada Butte
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2016, 06:51:55 PM »

Nice shot. What is so unfriendly about the park?
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sdwilsonsct

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Re: Milky Way over Fajada Butte
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2016, 07:14:27 AM »

Nice composition, good capture.
Niggle -- I wonder of some the stars were stretched by edge distortion, or by stitching.

arlon

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Re: Milky Way over Fajada Butte
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 01:27:12 PM »

Nice composition, good capture.
Niggle -- I wonder of some the stars were stretched by edge distortion, or by stitching.

Some were stretched by the 30 second shutter speed. A necessary evil without a tracking device. The 16mm lens also has a little distortion to add to the elongation. They only way I know of negating the stretch is to simply post smaller pictures.
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arlon

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Re: Milky Way over Fajada Butte
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 02:23:00 PM »

Nice shot. What is so unfriendly about the park?

Staff were totally unfriendly. I guess they are simply not going to help you in any way to see anything that isn't printed on their file card sized map (no detailed maps available). I asked if there were petroglyphs other than the "petroglyph trail" on the map. She (native staff) simply handed me the little brochure map and said "everything to see in the park is marked on the map". End of discussion. I found a lot of petroglyphs that weren't on the map (bring your binoculars).

While driving the scenic park loop (there were only 2 other cars in the park, both parked at ruin parking lots, late on Monday evening) I pulled over and stopped to take a picture of an elk from the car. A ranger rode about three miles, lights flashing, running about 60 mph, pull me over and issue me a "verbal warning". I was told if I was seen stopping on ANY roadway again (traffic or no traffic) I would be given a ticket, end of discussion.

When I took the Milky Way picture from the only open parking lot outside of the camping area, I was warned (10pm) that if I walked outside the fenced parking area I would be given a ticket (which I was not near doing).  The friendly ranger emphasized that he would issue a ticked if I stepped off any trail in the park for any purpose, especially for taking photos. I was then told they didn't want this park to become a "Yellowstone" and all rules would be enforced as strictly as legally possible.

In the camp ground one of the campers was given a verbal warning for having a dog on a leash that was too long. The rule is a 72" leash, NOT an 84" leash. They had to make a short leash from some rope. Again, end of discussion.

There is no way this park can EVER become a "Yellowstone". I think their enforcement is a little draconian. They are enforcing by the letter of the law (in THEIR book, not posted) 100%, intent of the law has absolutely no bearing on the situation. This may also only be the policy of the one enforcement ranger I had the pleasure of being visited by.

There is no access to any of the ruins after sunset or before 7AM so no sunset shot, sunrise shots, blue hour, light painting or anything else around any of the ruins. I was run out of the ruins area (my first encounter) WAY earlier than I thought was reasonable for sundown and given another verbal warning about their definition of sundown. That also means you must be out of the park by sundown, not at the parking lot at sundown. There is one trail to a ruin that is accessible from the camp ground and I was warned not to be on that trail before 7am when they open the other areas. That was my only hope for an early shot of the ruins but that ideas was squashed too.

Over a three day period, I had 4 encounters with one ranger. Of course there were only about 5 other people in the entire park so it was inevitable that we would cross paths. I wasn't the only one with unpleasant encounters. I was never even close to violating any posted rule in the park. There is absolutely nothing posted anywhere on the road, in the brochure, camping rules or anywhere else accessible to me about stopping on the road side for a picture (I checked VERY closely after the warning to see if I had missed anything). It is simply the most photographer unfriendly park I have ever been in.

I do camp from a van and I think I was possibly being profiled and "watched" because of that. If I had been in an Airstream, I might have had a totally different experience. I was surprised I wasn't questioned about permits for professional photographers since I have a "nice" camera.. One bright spot.
 
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Kevin Gallagher

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Re: Milky Way over Fajada Butte
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 08:44:09 PM »

Staff were totally unfriendly. I guess they are simply not going to help you in any way to see anything that isn't printed on their file card sized map (no detailed maps available). I asked if there were petroglyphs other than the "petroglyph trail" on the map. She (native staff) simply handed me the little brochure map and said "everything to see in the park is marked on the map". End of discussion. I found a lot of petroglyphs that weren't on the map (bring your binoculars).

While driving the scenic park loop (there were only 2 other cars in the park, both parked at ruin parking lots, late on Monday evening) I pulled over and stopped to take a picture of an elk from the car. A ranger rode about three miles, lights flashing, running about 60 mph, pull me over and issue me a "verbal warning". I was told if I was seen stopping on ANY roadway again (traffic or no traffic) I would be given a ticket, end of discussion.

When I took the Milky Way picture from the only open parking lot outside of the camping area, I was warned (10pm) that if I walked outside the fenced parking area I would be given a ticket (which I was not near doing).  The friendly ranger emphasized that he would issue a ticked if I stepped off any trail in the park for any purpose, especially for taking photos. I was then told they didn't want this park to become a "Yellowstone" and all rules would be enforced as strictly as legally possible.

In the camp ground one of the campers was given a verbal warning for having a dog on a leash that was too long. The rule is a 72" leash, NOT an 84" leash. They had to make a short leash from some rope. Again, end of discussion.

There is no way this park can EVER become a "Yellowstone". I think their enforcement is a little draconian. They are enforcing by the letter of the law (in THEIR book, not posted) 100%, intent of the law has absolutely no bearing on the situation. This may also only be the policy of the one enforcement ranger I had the pleasure of being visited by.

There is no access to any of the ruins after sunset or before 7AM so no sunset shot, sunrise shots, blue hour, light painting or anything else around any of the ruins. I was run out of the ruins area (my first encounter) WAY earlier than I thought was reasonable for sundown and given another verbal warning about their definition of sundown. That also means you must be out of the park by sundown, not at the parking lot at sundown. There is one trail to a ruin that is accessible from the camp ground and I was warned not to be on that trail before 7am when they open the other areas. That was my only hope for an early shot of the ruins but that ideas was squashed too.

Over a three day period, I had 4 encounters with one ranger. Of course there were only about 5 other people in the entire park so it was inevitable that we would cross paths. I wasn't the only one with unpleasant encounters. I was never even close to violating any posted rule in the park. There is absolutely nothing posted anywhere on the road, in the brochure, camping rules or anywhere else accessible to me about stopping on the road side for a picture (I checked VERY closely after the warning to see if I had missed anything). It is simply the most photographer unfriendly park I have ever been in.

I do camp from a van and I think I was possibly being profiled and "watched" because of that. If I had been in an Airstream, I might have had a totally different experience. I was surprised I wasn't questioned about permits for professional photographers since I have a "nice" camera.. One bright spot.

Sounds like you came across a guy that couldn't quite make the cut for the local PD and is taking out on the world.
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MattBurt

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Re: Milky Way over Fajada Butte
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2016, 11:37:59 AM »

That's unfortunate. I hate being fenced in but understand the need to keep people from damaging antiquities as well. They do sound pretty over the top about it there. I had an expensive run-in with a ranger at Canyonlands once for pulling off the road in the wrong spot near the White Rim trail. Someone had moved the rocks used as lane markers to create a pullout but since it wasn't an official one it cost me $180 to idle there for a few minutes while the ranger made it very clear he thought I was a total idiot.

I usually try to end up in wilder places just to avoid all that.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Milky Way over Fajada Butte
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2016, 05:18:18 AM »

Great work.
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