Photographer utilizes unique techniques to capture stunning photo of Yosemite National Park

FRIANT, Calif. (KFSN) -- A young photographer is spending his time traveling around the western United States and capturing stunning landscape photos, including one that got a lot of attention at Yosemite National Park.

Derek Sturman, a 21-year-old from Utah, recently published the photo "Galactic" taken in Yosemite National Park, which shows the Milky Way over Half Dome. The photo was taken during Sturman's 9-day stay in the park back in June of 2018 and involved a lengthy process to capture and create.

"I think the big part for me is, I really want to get that perfect photo. I'm very competitive about it. If I leave a location too early...I just can't sleep at night," Sturman said.

He goes on weeklong trips to get the pictures he's looking for, packing up his van with his Nikon camera, his tripod, and other accessories. To get his finished product, he uses a special tool called a star tracker to capture the movement of the stars.

"It will basically just rotate the camera exactly adjacent to opposite earth's rotation, and it gives the appearance that it's tracking the stars and following them," he said.

He'll blend multiple photos and use digital editing to create his final product. He's also photographed at Zion National Park, the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, and other locations on the western side of the U.S.

"You can tell somebody something, but they just, either they don't believe you or they just don't understand," Sturman said. So his photography is his way of bringing that sense of wonder to as many people as possible.

"Create some new perspective, maybe something someone hasn't seen yet, that's kind of the end goal, photograph as many places as I can."

Sturman currently works as a realty photographer when he's not on one of his trips, but he hopes to be able to photograph landscapes full-time one day. His pictures are for sale, and he also holds tutorial classes where he discusses his tips and tricks.

You can read Sturman's account of the Yosemite trip here. You can visit his website at, and you can keep up with his pictures on Instagram.
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