We Are But Specks On The Rock Under The Heavens

Samyang 12mm f2.0 at ISO1600 for 20 seconds.
Samyang 12mm f2.0 at ISO1600 for 20 seconds.
37 image panorama. Stitch using Microsoft Image Composite Editor. Samyang 12mm f2.0 at ISO1600 for 20 seconds each.
37 image panorama. Stitch using Microsoft Image Composite Editor.
Samyang 12mm f2.0 at ISO1600 for 20 seconds each.

The say the best things are worth the trouble of an adventure to capture. After all, no one said that reaching for the heavens was something you could accomplish without trial and error, followed by blood, sweat and tears.

Of course it is more than a little crazy to hike up a 6.7km rocky hill trail in the middle of the night with nothing more than 2 flashlights and a backpack full of camera equipment, more so when you have never climbed it before. There are far more easier ways of getting night sky shots, but few with the kind of bragging rights as what it took to accomplish this feat.

I don’t know about those with me, but as the idiot who took this chance to grasp at the stars from the top of a hill, pushing myself to and probably past my physical and mental limits was only possible because there was something I needed to see through. If any any moment I began to question the insanity of navigating the steep rocky inclines with only a torch and the person ahead of me to guide my path, all I had to do was to stop and look up for a brief moment to remember ehy I was there for.

If there was any lesson from this, is that passion for what you want will give you enough strength to see you through your doubts. You can call it stubbornness too if that helps, but the reality of it is the most worthwhile achievements in life really do need some sort of conviction to see it through. That’s why they are always the toughest to attain to begin with.

Of course, the other lesson here is that there is a fine line between passion to reach the top, and obsession that gets you killed. I’ll be the first to admit, I flirted with that last night. There is no doubt in my mind that things could have very easily took a turn south, and now that it’s done, there is no way I’m ever doing that again, nor am I recommending that people do what we just did for safety reasons.

Still, after all that’s been said and done, there is a certain zen-like feeling in knowing that I after months of painstaking trial and error, I have finally captured my unicorn. I know, despite the limitations of my equipment, and the lack of skill and experience in photography. I am able to pull off something I have always been envious off since I first laid eyes on them. Doesn’t hurt too to know that I have joined the ranks of those that are capable of pulling off a Milky Way arch photo as well.

I know it still needs a lot of work to be better, but it’s a start. Yet like all passions, even the start can be something beautiful. It’s still good to know that it’s possible for someone like me to capture a moment of beauty. The world needs a bit more of that at the moment.

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