Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Possible UFO Sighting - Artists Palette/Artist Drive - Death Valley National Park (Part 25)

At the end of November last year (2012), I took a trip to Death Valley National Park. This is the second trip there in my life. The 1st time I went, I was still a little kid, and I didn't start taking photos yet. This time, I have a pro camera and I am ready to shoot the scenery. Death Valley National Park is known for its "out of this world" scenery, UFO sightings, and many other things. The desert is a very mysterious and beautiful place. In this chain of blog posts, I will be showing you mainly photos of Death Valley National Park, but also photos from surrounding areas like The Mojave Desert, Alabama Hills, and Rhyolite Ghost Town. I have picked out over 400 photos from my trip to show you guys and I will be dividing them into many blog posts. Unlike blog  post chains before, I obviously can't put a link of ever blog post on every single blog post, so instead, I will do the same thing I did for my Yellowstone National Park photos before, by sticking a link of the Next and Previous post on each blog post instead.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To see my best work from Death Valley National Park, use this link. To see all of the photos from my Death Valley National Park trip use this link.

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Today, I have 4 photos of Artist's Palette Drive at night. I went there after sunset because I originally planned that in the trip that day but I took a bit long elsewhere so it was night when I got there. I later went back the next day to get a better view during the day. I have a tripod, a good camera, so the low lighting isn't much of an issue because I can just lengthen the exposure to compensate.

Anyways, before I continue with the photos for today, I want to tell you my experience that night with a potential UFO sighting! Yes a UFO sighting, and no I am not lying. Death Valley National Park is known for its UFO sightings. So here is what happened. The last image in this blog post was taken when I saw the UFO. The photo (according to the photo EXIF data) was taken at 5:24 PM at 11/22/2012 (not sure if I configured the daylight savings setting correctly so it could be +/- an hour). Here is what happened. I saw a great view and told my dad to stop. I set up my camera and tripod and some calculations told me the photo will take 3.5 minutes (I went 3 minutes 39 seconds just to be on the safe side). So I started the exposure and I noticed the stars were coming out so I looked around and tried to see if I can spot any constellations. When I looked up, I noticed that a few "stars" were moving faster than what stars normally move at, plus they were moving in the opposite direction of what other stars are moving! The thought of an airplane did occur, but those star were not flashing, very bright, and well moving not as fast as an airplane. Before I knew it, one of the "stars" changed direction moving in a triangular formation and then I noticed a few other "bright stars" near it started moving awkwardly too. I thought I must be sleepy and my eyes were playing tricks on me so I called my mom out. She looked for a while and told me she sees the awkward movements too... So after a minute when I called my dad out, the "stars" were in a very different arrangement from when I first saw them, but they all stopped moving. Then it was about 3 minutes. I let the exposure run another 40 seconds and I was like I'm getting out of here! Those alien abduction documentaries I watched on TV before started popping up in my head and I totally freaked out... Now I kind of wish I boosted the ISO and took a shot in the general direction but back then I was so freaked out I left. The UFO wasn't in my camera's frame for the long exposure BTW. Kind of regret it now, but anyways, this is my story.

When I got there, the sun was still setting. I sure made my trip in Natural Bridge Canyon short. Kind of planned it out. I knew I still wanted to go here, so I rushed myself at Natural Bridge Canyon.  

 A car driving by made a streak of light in my long exposure. 


Another shot with no cars making streaks in my photo. 

This was the photo I was taking when I saw the possible UFO sighting (see my story above). I don't know if it is just me, but it seems that there could have been electromagnetic interference in the area. I have taken exposures past 3 minutes before. A lot more noise (when I viewed it at 100%) than photos I've taken before. Considering how cold it was outside, my ISO at the lowest, the noise level should be a lot lower! So pretty much after that encounter with the possible UFO I got so freaked out I told my dad to drive the heck out of there. I didn't take any more photos that night after that. 

These are all the photos for today! I hope you have enjoyed them and my story on my possible UFO sighting. Next time I have photos from Death Valley Junction Historic District and photos of the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel (would not recommend staying there unless you desperately have to). Please don't forget to share with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

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