Starman (aka Milky Way Dave)

September 1, 2017

For the past five years, I travel to a friend's family cabin in the remote mountains of the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico. It tends to be a time to unplug, unwind and create for myself. With no cell signal or internet it is a great escape and each year I challenge myself to just play, no work. It has become a personal challenge to create a unique star portrait of myself. The first year was experimenting which made me realize that I needed to bring a little more equipment to achieve an ultimate Star Portrait. Hiking up the mountain with the gear needed to get it right has become something I look forward to each year now. And each year I have to outdo the previous. This year I had planned ahead and acquired an amazing jacket that can be used for Halloweens to come, but more specifically to capture the perfect self-portrait. I give you Starman 2017, a tribute to the late David Bowie (also born David Jones) and my ultimate Lust for Light to date. Starman is the first single from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album.

As a relative purist when it comes to photography, 95% of this image is in camera. It is not a composite of images or a Photoshop manipulation. Multiple lights, softbox and light stands, cameras, lenses, tripod, costume to change into, sandbags, and lots of patience. You see there are no lights on the top of the mountains so flashlights are used to maneuver around, get proper focus (again and again), and then tracking apps to plot just where the Milky Way will be at a specific time. All of this is hiked up to the top of the mountain, sometimes taking a few trips up or with help from others that may also be a part of this experience.

Click or tap the thumbnail photo below to view.


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