Beginnings of Light Pollution

By: Chirag Upreti


Ladakh, India

2018 August 10


From the photographer: "The image was taken beside Pangong Lake, which is the world's highest saltwater lake at ~14,270 feet above sea level. At this altitude, the night sky is just stunning, but what caught my attention was how just a handful of luxury tourist tents and a few buildings (hotels) with unobstructed outdoor lighting norms could significantly pollute the pristine night sky.
As the image shows in this remote and high location the Milky Way was clearly visible (albeit briefly between the menacing clouds), but the mountains reflect the light pollution from the tourist "luxury" campsites at it's base, just the beginning stages of how light pollution begins to erode into a gorgeous night sky. The mountains on the right edge of the image form silhouettes as there are no such dwellings at their base and thus still conserve their natural state. Initial single exposures to capture this scene were easily overexposed by these bright lights of the camps, so I decided to combine two exposures (one for the Milky Way and the other for the light pollution of the camps) to come close to a more natural sense of the scene. Entry by the India army is banned on the other side of the lake since it get too close to the Indo-Tibetian border."
Technical details: Composite of two exposures, Sony A7S2, For the sky: ISO 6400, 28mm, f/3.2, 12 sec shutter speed. For the light pollution camps: ISO 1250, 28mm, f./3.2, 2 sec
Chirag Upreti

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Related Keywords: Pangong Lake | Lake | Milky Way | light pollution | Sony A7S2 | Composite |




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