Scenic USA - Washington

Little Chapel on the Hill

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Stotts Chapel - Curlew, Washington

Photo by Jim Stiles
Jim Stiles Photography

   Giving the impression of Van Gogh's "Starry Night," this exaggerated star-filled sky was captured during the annual Perseid meteor shower. Not far from the Canadian border, this "Little Chapel on the Hill" creates a wonderful foreground element for Curlew's star-filled sky. Locally known as Stotts Chapel, this tiny non-denominational church was built by the Stotts family as a focal point for the community, rather than a full-time church. The well proportioned building, built in the late 90s, features hand crafted pews and a stained glass window cross. Its classic bell tower has watched over the occasional wedding, including builder Joe Stotts and his bride.
   This star trails composition uses a few 21st century style gadgets, including a DLSR camera, photographic intervalometer and an invaluable piece of freebie software called StarStax. Once the camera focus is established, the intervalometer shoots a long series of images, each a minute long with a slight gap in the hour long time lapse sequence. StarStax is an image stacking software that blends together a series of photos into a single image. After a quick look at Marcus Enzweker's tutorial, you'll see his software doesn't require a steep learning curve. Supporting a variety of image formats (other than raw images), it looks like more 21st century Vincent Van Goghs are just waiting to be discovered.

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