Photos With Nop and Dave: Starry Night

By | August 1, 2011
From Xplor: August/September 2011

Starry Night Dave Stonner reached the summit of Stegall Mountain at sunset. He’d been hiking since daybreak, up and down 15 miles of hilly Ozark terrain. The straps of his backpack, weighted by heavy camping and photography gear, dug into his shoulders. His feet hurt. His legs wobbled. Dave was tired.

At this point, most people would scarf down supper, snuggle into their sleeping bags and promptly fall asleep. But Dave had something else in mind.

He set his camera atop a tripod, pointed it toward where he thought the North Star would appear and snapped a photo. Ten minutes later, without moving his camera even a millimeter, he shot a second photo. Every 10 minutes throughout the night—while wind whispered through the pines, while coyotes yipped on a nearby ridge, while the Earth slowly turned under the stars—Dave arose and took a photo.

Back home, he used a computer to combine 35 of the shots into a single star-laced image. It was a technique he had never tried.

“Sometimes you have to experiment and see what you get,” Dave says.

It seems that his shots in the dark paid off.

To see some of the photos used to make this image, visit

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This Issue's Staff

David Besenger
Bonnie Chasteen
Chris Cloyd
Peg Craft
Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Chris Haefke
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Kevin Lanahan
Kevin Muenks
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
Tim Smith
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White
Kipp Woods