The red rock mountains in the Southwest of the United States appear to be from another planet. This is further demonstrated via photography, as seen by Derek Culver’s breathtaking photograph of the twisted rock formations in Arizona’s Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness. This alien setting, illuminated by the Milky Way, is mesmerizing and begs you to explore its seductive rocky landscape.
Because it’s an excellent location for taking pictures of the night sky, Culver chose this specific location, known as White Pocket. White Pocket, he explains to My Modern Met, “is hours along lonely gravel and sand roads in an exceptionally dark place, great for astrophotography.” Culver arrived ready. “I utilized a Nikon camera that Spencer’s Camera & Photo modified to let in additional wavelengths of light, making it more sensitive to the nebulous and red hues in the night sky that most standard cameras do not catch,” the photographer said.
This one shot is the product of multiple photographs captured by Culver throughout that night. He explains, “I took 48 x five-minute exposures of the same region of the sky and stitched all those images together in a program called Pixinsight, [which is] used by NASA and other space agencies for processing images taken through space telescopes to extract data out of images using mathematical averages and photometry concepts. I then took this stacked image and placed it on top of the foreground of the rocks I had earlier in the evening taken around dusk!
On his YouTube account and Instagram, Culver posts additional photography, and you can see him edit photos there.