The subject chosen to kick off this year's photo-a-month challenge was "starscapes" and with enough advance notice I was able to consider a few things during December to prep for it. I decided I wanted to get out of town and put something in front of some stars and hopefully shoot some star trails. Checking on the moon I found it would be full on the 1st and 31st of January and was hoping to shoot for sometime with a 1/2 to 3/4 moon so I could use it to light the mountains, but that of course would depend on the weather. January 4th had perfectly clear skies as the sun went down, so I headed out under an 89% waning gibbous moon and tried to find a good subject.
Independence Mine is pretty easily accessible, so I dusted off the skis I use far more rarely than once in a blue moon, slapped some skins on them, and headed up there, leaving home around 9:00pm. The moonlight is plenty bright on snowy mountains to move around easily without any extra light, so I skied up to the old mine and scoped out some of the good ruins, and then lined them up with the north star which was a lot closer to directly overhead than I anticipated, somehow.
I used a wireless trigger (pictured here sitting on my camera bag) to shoot photos for a full hour while I skied around the valley. This is a Rokinon 14mm lens that's entirely manual (that's why the exif data is wrong and says 50mm) and each frame was a five second exposure at ISO 2500 and F4. I then packed up and made it home by 2am and stacked the photos (645 total) in photoshop the next day. With the movement of the moon over an hour a lot of the shadows moved and made things a bit too bright and surreal in the foreground, so I then used one of the images from the stack and masked out the sky so the foreground shadows went back to normal.
See the result here: http://www.morffed.com/2018/Photo-A-Month-Challenge/i-RLL6Kbd/A