When it comes to capturing stars in the night sky, landscape photographer Grant Kaye is a clear expert. After all, he's spent hundreds of dark nights shooting that very sight. And lucky for us, he's shared his for stargazing in the United States. So grab your sleeping bag, because you're going to want to explore every single one these amazing locations.
If you've heard of Burning Man Festival, then you've heard of this remote desert that Kaye says has one of the darkest skies in all of North America. But consider yourself warned: It's definitely a location you need to take precautions with when visiting. "The Black Rock is a vast and wild wilderness, and the utmost care must be taken when going deep into its expansiveness to ensure one's safety," Kaye says.
Confused about what you're looking at? It's a dried-out lake that Kaye admits is challenging to get to — but perhaps that makes it all the more amazing once you do arrive? Even spookier: Stones seem to slide across the ground due to thin layers of ice melting on the bottom of them and high winds.
Two words: Aurora Borealis. Kaye told if you want to witness this natural light phenomenon — which is a result of charged particles colliding into the Earth's atmosphere — there's no better place to go: "It really is a completely unparalleled spiritual experience that I cannot recommend enough." He suggests the town of Fairbanks in particular.
Even though this park is only open for part of the year, from mid-May to the end of November, it's a treasure to shoot. That's because it's spotted with some of the oldest living trees in the country, which Kaye says make great photographic subjects.
Since Kaye was born in Hawaii, it makes sense that he likes to return to the islands to shoot, explore by way of the backroads, and take photos of the extreme diversity of the island. He even goes as far as to describe it as "magical" at night.
Now Kaye actually lives just 30 minutes away from Lake Tahoe in Truckee, California. According to Kaye, the reason this location is so sought out by photographers is because the darkness and lack of light pollution to the east and south offer more options for creativity when it comes to taking nighttime photos.