Gems of Chinese nightscapes

Reaching the Mugecuo lake

Reaching the Mugecuo lake

In period 22nd October to 3st November 2019 I spent beautiful time in China, enjoying especially night moments under (mostly) perfectly dark skies with great photographer Jeff Dai. Visiting some spectacular places in Sichuan province with a luck for weather, I was able to record a few special views of this amazing piece of the world, using my favorite modified Canon 6D but also new mirrorless Canon R. With such a great circumstances, the experiences were over the expectations. Enjoy with me on following images!

The first shot is probably my most favorite from whole trip. Just when we reached a picturesque Mugecuo lake in eastern Tibet (Sichuan province, China) on 27 October 2019. The sky cleared up just after midnight, allowing us to stargaze over this light non-puluted piece of virgin nature. High mountains around, bright airglow and no other people around made you think about meaning of our kind in this world literally by every step you took by the shore… Canon 6D, Samyang 24 mm, f. 2.2, ISO 8000, 15s exposures (panorama from tripod).

Orion rising over Mt. Gongga region

Orion rising over Mt. Gongga region

Majestic Orion takes the central stage over eastern Tibet while two alpinsts spend their time in a tent by over 5000-m high summits of Mt. Gongga region, captured on 28 October 2019. Hidden to naked eyes, various nebulae can be captured (and seen on picture) thanks to Optolong-L filter in this beautiful constellation. Such as Barnard’s Loop, Great Orion Nebula or the Witch Head Nebula. Canon 6D, Sigma 50mm, f1.4, 10s, ISO 6400.

Significant airglow over Mt. Gongga region

Significant airglow over Mt. Gongga region

Reaching summit of no named mount in this region, I was impressed by naked-eye visible airglow in the sky while the Milky Way slowly set over the horizon. When I finally got on the top of the mount, I felt so free. All the problems of the world was just down there, under this 4800 high mount and couldn’t that easily reach me up here. Suddenly it was truly just myself, mountains and thousands of stars above… Canon R, Canon RF28-70mm (28), f2.2, ISO 5000, 15s exposures pano from tripod (detail od myself sitting on summit is only single shot with same parameters).

On the Tibetian summit

On the Tibetian summit

On the Tibetian summit

On the Tibetian summit

Not only airglow made me surprised that night, but also pretty well visible zodiacal light and the Gegenschein. Here are some panoramas, taken while other climber reached the summit. When using their cellphone to see a way, they, actually, prepared pretty nice composition with the Milky Way above them. Used Canon 6D, Samyang 24 mm, f2.2, ISO 8000, 15s exposures, Optolong-L filter.

Light upt the Tibetian sky

Light up the Tibetian night

Zodiacal arc over eastern Tibet

The zodiacal arc over eastern Tibet

On October 28th, 2019, we moved to Ganzi Tibetian Autonomous Prefacture, Sichuan, China. Clear skies again, so we could witness young Moon, Venus and even Mercury together in the sky, while setting over Minya monastery. Such a romantic view, huh? Canon R, Canon RF28-70mm (70), f3.5, ISO 800, vary exposures.

Moon, Venus and Mercury over over Minya monastery at Ganzi

Moon, Venus and Mercury over over Minya monastery at Ganzi

After the dusk, the Milky Way appeared again. Simply astonishing view, indeed, knowing there is a city, however not producing too much of light pollution so you can see both starry sky and a city in one view. Pretty unusual. Canon R, Canon RF28-70mm (70), f3.2, ISO 6400, 15s exposures (panorama).

Milky Way over Ganzi

Milky Way over Ganzi

Not that dark skies so far, but considering the symbolism of stargazing on one of the most legendary ancient human creation, the Chinese Great Wall, that moment was also truly memorable. Piece of deepest history meets current civilization (unfortunately producing the light pollution), which is truly respectful to its history. And just up above, distant stars, living much longer than the whole civilization, are just part of this so special place in the world. Canon R, Canon RF28-70mm (28), f2.8, ISO 5000, pano of 15s exposures.

Stargazing on the Great Wall

Stargazing on the Great Wall

Stargazing on the Great Wall

Stargazing on the Great Wall