Port Orford Night Sky

Port Orford is home to some of the most beautiful scenery, and that includes its incredible expanse of night sky. Photography is a beautiful medium to capture this phenomenon, so we have selected some of our favorites to prove how breathtaking this wonder of nature is when undisturbed by light noise and other anomalies that obscure it from view.

Star Trails photography is a technique that exposes the apparent motion of the stars caused by the rotation of the Earth. The longer the exposure time (15min, 1h, 2h, 5h…), the longer the Star Trails will be. This beautiful image was captured by artist Lois Miller in 2013:

“Star Trails” by Lois Miller from the “Gegenschein” Exhibit at Point.B Studio, 2013.

Moon photography requires patience, skill, a steady hand and usually a long telephoto lens to magnify the moon and try to fill as much of the frame as possible. These exquisite shots by artists Lois Miller and Lance Nix show what is possible through the lens of masters of their medium:

“Crescent Moon” by Lois Miller from the “Gegenschein” Exhibit at Point.B Studio, 2013.
“February Moon” by Lance Nix, 2018

Astrophotography is another technique that has truly taken off with the improved resolution of digital cameras. You no longer need an observatory telescope to take a stunning image. A DSLR camera, a basic camera lens, a sturdy tripod along with the skillful eye of these artists truly show the beauty of the Port Orford Night Sky.

“Milky Way” by Kristina Rinell, 2019 (Cape Blanco / Bvn’-yuu-k’wvt)
“Port Orford Oregon” by Solution 7 Media, May 2021 (Mt. Humbug / Salmon Cheek)

Artist Lance Nix has documented the Port Orford sky for nearly 20 years and has captured just about every mood and nuance you can imagine by pointing his camera to the heavens. Here are a few of our favorites at one of his most photographed spots, Garrison Lake (you can see a much larger collection here).

“June Light Show” by Lance Nix, 2015
“Evening in Paradise” by Lance Nix, 2010
“Dusk on Garrison Lake” by Lance Nix, 2007
“November Evening” by Lance Nix, 2007
“December Dusk” by Lance Nix, 2008
“Mellow Evening” by Lance Nix, 2015
“Early Moon Rise on Garrison Lake” by Lance Nix, 2014

Recently, our local Kalmiopsis Audubon Society worked with the Port Orford City Council to enact a Dark Sky Ordinance that serves to protect this treasure. You can read more about it at the Kalmiopsis Audubon Society website and watch this illuminating video that they produced with local musician and educator Steve Montana to raise awareness of this issue.

Thank you to everyone involved who helped make this happen!

See also: Sunrise, Sunset

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  1. Greg Bishop

    This is amazing. I love the photos (some by my Amigo) and the map referencing the historical.

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