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How I got the shotShowcase

Showcase 2020 Winner Profile – Peter Nestler

By February 17, 2020No Comments
2020 Showcase, Best in Show, Scapes: "Icy Cosmos, Juneau, Alaska" © Peter Nestler.
2020 Showcase, Best in Show, Scapes: “Icy Cosmos, Juneau, Alaska” © Peter Nestler.

How I Got the Shot

I found this moulin while exploring under a glacier. Checking PhotoPills showed that the moving stars would match the sweep of the moulin perfectly so I came back on a clear night for the shot. After getting my exposure set for the stars I locked my shutter release open so it would shoot one image after another until the battery died. I sat outside the cave for safety (in case it collapsed during the 2.5 hour shoot) and to make sure I didn’t accidentally shine my headlamp and ruin the image.

What I Used

Canon 5d MarkIV with a Sigma 14-24 mm lens on a Gitzo travel tripod. I used a shutter release for all images.

The foreground was shot as a 6-image vertical panorama to get the entire cave in the frame while there was still enough light to expose the glacier ice. Settings were f/8, 30 seconds, ISO 250. The stars were shot at f/2.8, 10 seconds, ISO 1600, then stacked in Photoshop with opacity changing from 0-100% for the fade effect. Being able to visualize the look of the stars before shooting was vital for the final image.

About Me

My wife and I live on the road full-time in a truck camper. I’m originally from Alaska and spend as much time up there as possible as it will always be my favorite location to photograph. Over the years, I have broken 12 Guinness World Records for rope skipping and have traveled the world performing at various venues. This has allowed a lot of unique opportunities to photograph locations I was visiting for performances (many of which I only got out to see because I brought my camera with me). I love the diversity of landscapes.

My Photographic Journey

I fell in love with nature as I wandered through the forests and mountains of Juneau, Alaska, and started in photography as a way to document the beauty I was seeing. As I traveled more around the world I wanted to take higher quality images that really expressed the dynamic nature of each location. The variety of places I visit really keeps me engaged as I try out different techniques. I’m mostly self-taught, but have picked up rough ideas on technique from a wide variety of photographers (which I then hack away at in the field until I figure them out).

NANPA and Me

I’ve been a NANPA member for about 3 years. I originally joined for the discounted equipment insurance, but have come to love the mission of the organization. I’ve had numerous images place in the top 100 and 250 in the past 2 years of the Showcase.

Learn More About Me

For more information about me and my work , see
My NANPA Showcase Portfolio
My website for photography and for my rope skipping
Instagram:  @peternestlerphoto