What we're about
Upcoming events (4)
This is expected to be the last year for Rolling Thunder. Each year Patriot Harlet Davidson sponsors a ride from their location in Fairfax. The riders line up on Route 50 west of Fairfax Circle and travel east along Rt 50 and turn left on Nutley Street. The riders then merge on to Rt 66. The area below the PamAm shopping center is a wooded lot on the opposite side of Nutley Street and this makes for a nicer background than the people and buildings that line Rt 50. However, this is just my preference and feel free to shoot anywhere along the route. The police department will start blocking access areas along the route, so I suggest you arrive an hour or more prior so you can get to your favorite spot. This is a great event to practice your panning skills. Better yet, practice before the event so you get the best possible results. More Info; https://www.patriothd.com/--ride-of-the-patriots
Spruce Knob Lake is located in the Monongahela National Forest in beautiful West Virginia and offers some of the darkest skies in our area. This is a camping optional meetup. We expect that most people who attend will camp at the nearby Spruce Knob Lake Campground. If you prefer not to camp I recommend the Canaan Village Inn about an hour away, near Davis, WV. The campground does not usually fill up and a few spots are held open for last minute arrivals. I have already booked site number #21 and recommend you book a site once you are sure you will attend. You will likely have to book 2 nights. I booked Friday and Saturday. Here is the link to secure your camping site: https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/234132 Free camping in the national forest is also an option, but these sites are a few miles from the lake and campground. Late September is a wonderful time to camp and shoot the Milky Way. Temperatures are usually mild and Sunset will be early at 7:06 pm. We will be able to see the Core or Galactic Center of the Milky Way from 8:30 pm until 10:30 pm. The Milky Way will still be visible after 10:30, just the brightest part will have settled below the horizon. In addition to shooting the Milky Way, this also a great location to shoot star trails. Just move to the opposite side of the lake and you have a great view of the northern sky. Spruce Knob is the highest peak in West Virginia and offers an amazing view of the sunset. The Knob, is about a 30-45 minute drive from the lake. Sunrise at the lake is often stunning with fog on the water being typical this time of year. After sunrise take a walk around the lake with a close focusing lens and you will see spider webs covered in dew. I run a very relaxed meetup and with the exception of shooting the Milky Way on Friday and Saturday nights, the remainder of the time is unscheduled. Meetup Members are always welcome to stop by my campsite to talk or ask questions. I'm always happy to share my knowledge of astro-photography or any other type of photography. I encourage members to explore the area during the day or just relax and bring a good book. Put you phone in airplane mode or turn it off, because there is No Cell Phone Coverage in this area. Getting to Spruce Knob Lake. Many GPS units will take you over the mountain assuming you are coming from the DC area. Don’t do that, it is a very long dirt road with a lot of switchbacks. I recommend you take Rt 33 to Harmon, WV go thru the town toward Elkins, and about 1 mile outside of town you will see a left turn on Whitmer Rd. Follow Whitmer road into the forest and follow the signs to Spruce Knob Lake. I do not recommend you use the GPS on your phone, because of lack of coverage. If you have never shot the Milky Way or the Night Sky I recommend you visit the website Lonely Speck. You will find a wealth of articles on this type of photography. If you do a little studying in advance you will likely have better results. https://www.lonelyspeck.com/ Send me a message if you have any questions about this meetup.