Milky Way Chasing

by Mike Pham
Written by Mike Pham who is a Southern California based banjo player in the band Vinnie and the Hooligans. Mike finds creative inspiration exploring in the middle of nowhere - often with his banjo - and pursuing his other passion – photography. 

Something about waking up in a tent far away from home rejuvenates me. Maybe for it has partly to do with getting away from the busy bubble of Southern Orange County, California. I am always looking for the next place to explore!

I try to base my trips around photography; so I find myself researching different places a lot before I actually pull the trigger. I follow the stars and moon cycles because shooting on a full moon and no moon is very different. I personally love to Milky Way chase. Traveling far away from the city to a low light polluted area on a new moon is what really gets me stoked. On this trip I decided to take a week and half off and travel up the 395 from Southern California knowing that a new moon lies on the last day of my trip. I knew I had to pick a spot that had a great view/landscape for this shot. 

I didn’t know where I was going to camp or stay, I just knew I had the days off and only had one camp site booked which was my last day of the trip in June Lake where I wanted to shoot the milky way. I figured I’d cut up the drive and stay in Lone Pine/Alabama Hills area in California which is about 2 hours south of Mammoth Lakes - close to June Lake. With those ideas in mind I packed up the car with Melissa and Rocky and went for it.

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