Craft Matters

Star Trails over West Temple

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Star Trails over West Temple - Zion National Park

Taken from the rooftop of the home I’m currently staying in. 534 images over a total of 17,622 seconds or slightly less than 5 hours. I was going for more (720 images) but the battery pooped out before things could finish.

The moon, at approximately 50% illumination, begins to light the scene about two-thirds through the image sequence. This helps provides just a hint of detail in Zion’s West Temple and its surrounding peaks. Overall, the combined effect is rather mesmerizing.

Star Trails – Zion Canyon

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Star Trails over Zion National Park

3 hours. 363 photos. They are the ingredients of this photograph, tracking the stars last night over Zion National Park, my home for the next two months. In celebration of this time, I quote a favorite passage from Robinson Jeffers‘ “De Rerum Virtute”:

I believe the first living cell
Had echoes of the future in it, and felt
Direction and the great animals, the deep green forest
And whale’s-track sea; I believe this globed earth
Not all by chance and fortune brings forth her broods,
But feels and chooses. And the Galaxy, the firewheel
On which we are pinned, the whirlwind of stars in which our sun is one dust-grain, one electron, this giant atom of the universe
Is not blind force, but fulfils its life and intends its courses.

What Jeffers felt in the marrow of his bones, I feel here. Everywhere there is cause and effect, intention, purpose. What may appear random simply veils deep intricate workings of causality. Around me is humbling enormity, bewildering complexity, the most graceful fragility. In my photography I try to honor this, give voice to it, spark awareness, even inspiration. And grow. As an individual, a friend, a lover, a father, a citizen. I want to feel the whirlwind, spin with the firewheel, know my intentions align with a greater course.