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Natural and Man-Made Worlds Collide in Photographs of Twinkling Starry Skies in Oregon

Some of the best places to witness the expansive Milky Way are in the American West, where life is quiet and you can be completely engulfed by the starry skies. Portland-based Ben Coffman photographs these magical scenes from Crater Lake and other iconic locations around Oregon. He ventures into the wilderness at odd hours of the night to capture astounding long-exposure photographs of the Milky Way and the star-filled skies.

Taking photographs at night allows Coffman to experience a familiar place from a different perspective. To Coffman, these iconic locations take on new meaning at night, when the crowds have dissipated and all you are left with is the night sky and the wilderness. His images represent the clash between the man-made and natural worlds, often portraying objects like tents or old houses juxtaposed with the natural beauty of our surroundings.

To capture that perfect photo, however, Coffman puts in a decent amount of work: from researching moon phases, weather conditions, man-made light in the area before heading out on the shoot, to dealing with freezing temperatures at night and complications with his gear. But in Coffman’s mind, the rough parts of the expeditions are well worth the final products. And we would agree.
 

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