Photographing the night sky is amazing.  It is awesome to look out at all the stars in a dark area.  Cleveland National Forest is just a short drive from San Diego, California, and gets you into some amazing dark night skies.  Read more to see how the image happened.

Cleveland National Forest

Cleveland National Forest is just about one hour East of San Diego.  It is an awesome place for the adventurer wanting to escape the city and enjoy some nature.  It was designated in 1908 and named after former President Grover Cleveland.  This forest is also home to the Mount Laguna Observatory.  Therefore, it is a protected dark skies area and is great for star photography.

Behind The Scenes

This image, titled “Night Sky On Fire” was taken in the fall of 2012. This was a very special and interesting night.  The marine layer blew in off the ocean the the city lights just glowed through it.  It is the only time I have seen the marine layer blow in far enough to illuminate the sky in the mountains like this.  It was so interesting seeing what looked like a sunset with the stars in the middle of the night.

Shooting sky photography at night is never really easy.  You need to be careful and move slowly because it it dark.  It requires using a sturdy tripod and cable release for long exposures.  If you do this type of photography I encourage you to take a friend just to be safe.  Everything moves slower when you are photographing the stars at night.  More importantly, you have to be patient.  Shooting stars at night night generally requires clear skies, so sometimes you have to wait a long time for the correct conditions.  Therefore, a night of shooting stars typically yields far fewer images than a standard day of shooting.

This particular night was a little different.  Cleveland National Forest had a big glow from the clouds and light showing through it.  The night sky appeared to be on fire.  These are the same trees I have used for some of my other night photography.  Unfortunately, another fire came through and leveled these trees.  It was such a great place to see the stars and I still miss it after all these years.

Thank you for visiting my site, and I hope you enjoy the image.

This photograph is available in my shop HERE.

Photograph of the night sky on fire reflecting orange and yellow light from San Diego, California through clouds with dead tree

Photograph of the night sky reflecting orange and yellow light from San Diego, California through clouds with dead tree

The Trip

Shooting the night sky in Cleveland National Forest is a very rewarding and energizing experience.  Seeing the sky and the stars reminds us of just how vast everything is.  This trip was truly special and it will not be forgotten.  For anyone that has the opportunity to go here and see the night sky I highly recommend it.  Then again, take advantage of any dark sky area and spend some time relaxing under the beauty of the stars.

Don’t miss my other behind the scenes from Cleveland National Forest at Shooting Star my only shooting star caught in a photograph or Night Sky Cleveland National Forest.

More Fine Art Photographs

Don’t forget to look at the images on my site in the galleries starting at:  Hopefully you find some of them inspirational for your own photography adventures, or maybe you find an image you want to call your own.