Landscape photographer Ben Coffman is a based out of Portland, Oregon, and he specializes in a very specific kind of night photography. Coffman’s niche is landscape astrophotography, and this area of expertise can be seen in spectacular images that feature the Milky Way. These awe-inspiring images take Coffman to the great outdoors, where he blends stunning night sky views with equally wonderful vistas and panoramas on the ground.
Though Coffman has been dabbling with photography as early as high school, he did not get serious with the craft until about 4 years ago, when he transferred to Portland, Oregon. Once there he was so taken by the beautiful landscapes that he started taking his old camera around with him.
Coffman has been careful to distinguish himself from other astro-landscape photographers by endeavoring to avoid the usual limitations of stars traveling in the shots, extreme ISO noise and producing very detailed wide-field Milky Way photos. Coffman instead preferred to capture very tiny parts of the land and sky using longer focal lengths, more than the ultra-wide angle that is typically used in landscape astrophotography.
All in all though, Coffman considers landscape astrophotography to be quite challenging, as he disclosed some of his insight during a recent interview.
“I find night photography to be really, really difficult. The most difficult thing is that landscape astrophotography is so heavily dependent on weather. Nobody hates a misinformed weatherman like a night-sky photographer.”
He also pointed out that one fact that few people realize in regards to landscape astrophotography is just how scantily the objects in the sky move at night. “If you’re trying to photograph a single object in the foreground, say a tree or a bush, and behind it you want the galactic center of the Milky Way, which is a small fraction of the Milky Way, which in turn is a small fraction of the sky, you have already severely limited your compositional possibilities.”
Well, thankfully we’ve got Coffman to do the dirty work, as we marvel at his incredible images that combine grandiose landscapes with the majestic evening sky.
See his divinely beautiful work here.