Podcast: Night Photography in the Rockies, with Rachel Jones Ross; OPTIC All Stars Preview


On November 22 and 23, B&H will host the 2020 OPTIC All Stars Conference, with a stellar list of outdoor, travel, and adventure photographers giving online presentations and, on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we are pleased to welcome one of those photographers: Rachel Jones Ross. Ross is a landscape and night sky photographer based near Banff, in the Canadian Rockies, and our conversation with her is rife with practical tips for shooting in the mountains and with suggestions to improve your night photography.

For starters, we speak with Ross about her workflow as it pertains to planning her shoots, which often require long hikes into the mountains. We discuss the apps she uses to gather information on weather, trails, and the night sky. We also ask about staying warm in subzero temperatures and find out that her most important piece of gear is her pair of Heat Company gloves. From there we discuss basic (and not so basic) techniques for star and night sky photography, including tips on composition, focus, and focus stacking, including a handy “sharp star” filter for accurate focus.

Because Ross is also a well-respected educator, we discuss transitioning to online workshops during the COVID-19 pandemic and her “Night Photography in your Pyjamas” course, and she offers a preview of her OPTIC All Stars presentation. We also discuss her go-to gear and how she decides which cameras and lenses to use for particular locations. Ross is a member of the Sony Alpha Imaging Collective, and she relates her preferences for the various Alpha series cameras and when and why she’ll decide to use a Sony 16-35mm zoom lens or a Zeiss Batis 18mm or Zeiss Loxia 21mm lens.

There is a lot of solid information as well as practical tips enmeshed in a very pleasant conversation with the wonderful Rachel Jones Ross. Join us for this episode and register for the free 2020 OPTIC All Stars Conference.

Guest: Rachel Jones Ross

Photograph © Rachel Jones Ross

Moraine Lake, 2020 © Rachel Jones Ross
Mt. Assiniboine, 2020 © Rachel Jones Ross
Blue Dragon Ice Cave, 2020 © Rachel Jones Ross
Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park © Rachel Jones Ross
Bow Lake, Jasper National Park, 2020 © Rachel Jones Ross
Abraham Lake, Alberta, Canada © Rachel Jones Ross
Methane bubbles at Vermillion Lake, 2019 © Rachel Jones Ross

Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris
Senior Producer: Jason Tables
Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves