Night Sky Location Search

I drove east over Stevens Pass to Douglas and Lincoln Counties in search of an abandoned building for night sky images.

Several years ago, I went with several other people to visit the Govan Schoolhouse, near Wilbur. I managed to capture a few decent shots.

This visit however was not to capture night images, but rather find new locations to return to when the next New Moon comes along, with clear skies and no wildfire smoke.

I visited towns such as Withrow and Lamoine. The last several weeks have been without rain. The wheat is about 18 inches high, what hasn’t already been harvested. There may not be any more rain out here until the fall.

The endless dry, dusty landscape in punctuated sporadically with random large stones, glacial erratics left over from the last ice age. There are many wondrous things to see out there in the middle of no where.

Smoke from the Cedar Creek fire lay over top like a blanket. It was 101F late on the afternoon. At sunset the sun glowed orange on the horizon.

Here are a few finds from the travels.

My travels took me back to the Govan Schoolhouse where I managed a few images, both inside and out of this magnificent beauty.

Govan Schoolhouse, Wilbur, Washington

The Govan Schoolhouse is an abandoned 2-story school located near Wilbur Wa.

All of its windows are long gone and the roof is mostly just some slats. I brought along several lanterns to use inside the school to illuminate it, to make it glow a bit.

The orientation of the building to the Milky Way was not perfect, but I made the best of it.

This image is a photomerge of two shots, then edited as a HDR image, with Photomatix, then edited a bit more in Camera Raw, and then Photoshop.

 

Govan Schoolhouse

Capturing cool images of the Milky Way is a lot of fun. Adding stars, especially the strip of the Milky Way Galaxy to an image create such an awesome look and feel.

So I am always searching for new elements of coolness for foreground interest. The idea of old, abandoned buildings came to mind, and I began to search for a likely place.

I wanted a wooden structure, old and beaten. It needed to be off, away from any city or town, so that the sky would not be washed out by light pollution.

A google search landed me at the Govan Schoolhouse and I knew right away where the next New Moon would take me.

I called the local city hall, in Wilbur, to check and see if the building was still standing and made my way east along with several night sky photo friends.

The building is located well off the beaten path, though there two farms close by.

As the sky darkened and the Milky Way became visible I made my way inside with several lanterns and lights of various kinds, too illuminate the schoolhouse with a glow.

The next New Moon is July 4th! If you are interested in coming along on the next Night Sky Photo Adventure, here is a link with the details!

Happy Star Shooting!