Friday, August 29, 2014

The Milky Way Over Johns Brook Lodge

JBL Milky Way 2

The night sky at Johns Brook Lodge on a clear moonless night is always breathtaking. The lodge is a great place to visit if you enjoy staring into the heavens. It is a backcountry lodge outside of Keene Valley, 3.5 miles into the High Peaks Wilderness. There have been numerous renovations to the lodge over recent years, most recently the sleeping accommodations were upgrade with real mattresses and new bunks. The staff are really what makes the place special though, they make great meals and know the valley inside and out. If you are looking for a nice backcountry accommodation it is definitely worth checking out. The view from the porch on a night like this is always a nice bonus as well.

Related Stories

Brendan Wiltse is the Science & Stewardship Director for the Ausable River Association and a professional conservation photographer. He holds a Ph.D. in Biology from Queen's University in Canada. While not out on the water studying Adirondack lakes and streams, he is often roaming the Wilderness with his camera and dog. You can view is photography at

5 Responses

  1. jim says:

    Your outdoor photography is stunning stuff. Makes me want to put on a pack and leave the city behind……Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jim,

    Thanks for the kind words. Putting a pack on and leaving the city behind is something everyone should do once in awhile.


  3. Marty Plante says:

    Hi Brendan. That’s a great photo! I suspect there was a lot more work involved in producing it than most people realize. Can you describe how you took it? Was it taken with a digital camera or conventional film? What was the exposure length? Did you carry a battery-operated tracking mount to JBL?

  4. The photo was taken with a Nikon D7000. Exposure settings were: 16mm, 25sec, f2.0, ISO 2500. I do not use a tracking mount. Those are only necessary if you are at longer focal lengths or longer exposures. In general you can use the 500 (or 600) rule to estimate optimal exposure length. If you divide 500 (or 600) by the 35mm equivalent focal length that will give you the longest exposure length without getting appreciable star trails. For 16mm on a 1.5x crop sensor that is an exposure length of 21 to 25 sec. Note that longer focal lengths require shorter exposures to avoid star trails, thus the need for a tracking mount.

    The photo was a shot in RAW, as all of my images are, and processed in Adobe Lightroom.

  5. Bill Ott says:

    Mr. Wiltse,

    Shutter speed and aperture are not what matters here. You could probably take a Brownie box camera and shoot better than most.

    Bill Ott
    Lakewood, Ohio

Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox