Private landowners in Rappahannock county, VA can have their property photographed with their house, barn, trees, back porch, pond, creek, garden, rocks or whatever is special to them about their land. The important structures will be lit gently so they are recognizable, but not enough to interfere with the night sky.

To participate, landowners will need:

    • The night sky visible from their property. This may mean turning off outdoor lights, and perhaps getting the neighbors to turn off their outdoor lights, for one night only. If there is too much light around the structure, the night sky will be difficult to see and photograph.
    • Some portion of the sky needs to be visible from the structure (a completely wooded property might not work except in winter). Southern (SE or SW) or nearly southern exposure is best for the milky Way, but stars can be seen from any view.
    • Some properties might not work due to how close it is to a commercial area/town, or cluster of lights, unless most or all can be turned off.

Each participant will get an 8.5×11 (approximate) size unmounted print of their choosing from the shoot, along with a 4×6 to easily share the beauty with others. Any additional prints (or matting, framing) will be at an additional cost.). The photographer will retain all copyrights on the images made.

Commercial ventures such as vineyards and B&Bs will receive an image for use on their website if desired in order to promote the idea of visiting the venue to observe the night sky. This helps publicize the project on a larger scale and may bring visitors to the county specifically to enjoy this landscape.

Nuts and bolts:

There are only a few nights each month where the Milky way and the stars are visible photographically without the sun, sunset and moon interfering. This is because the best images are made 2 hours after sunset and 30 minutes after moonset (or before sunrise or moonrise). You can see stars at other times, but the photographs are not as spectacular.

Some nights are cloudy, rainy, foggy or otherwise useless for viewing the stars.

Some of those nights, I might have to work or other obligations

Some of those nights you might not want to stay up late enough, especially in the summertime, when the best shooting time might not be until 11:30 or much later. You might want to go to work the next day, as do I).

I will need to set up some lights and may scout the area ahead of time. Scouting might occur during the day.

Participants need to:

Allow the photographer, Joyce Harman (and assistants if needed) access to the property at a time of the night where the stars are visible

Identify the structures wanted in the pictures, allow lighting to placed nearby

Decide whether to be anonymous or public in publications (your choice of name, location, any other details about structure– -old barn history, significant events that took place on a site, etc).

Allow the publication of a photo from their property online or in print. Locations will be kept anonymous, (from Rappahannock county), unless disclosure is desired by the landowner. Locations disclosure will be worded in any way the landowner wishes, (such as Long Mountain Rd, or more specific with the name of landowner or the farm name).