West Virginia IS almost heaven.
Just take a look at the beautiful artwork by Huntington photographer Jesse Thornton.
He is especially well known for his Reflection in a Pool photos, many focus on the state’s beautiful nighttime sky and well-known landmarks like Spruce Knob.
Can’t get enough of his artwork?
In addition to his Facebook page, a 2018 West Virginia Night Skies Calendar featuring these heavenly photos is now available to order online.
Folks can also become a patron on Thornton’s Patreon page. It’s a crowdfunding platform that allows monthly donations to be made in support of his art projects.
Donations can be as little as $1 per month which entitles a donor to see images before they are released anywhere else, RAW files and JPEG after processing as well as brief writeups about each image including how the shot came to be and detailed descriptions on how to get each location as well as GPS coordinates.
Donors who pledge $10 a month can watch as he processes a photo from beginning to end. Earlier this spring the focus was on a video showing the processing of a Milky Way photo (including Photoshop layering and blending techniques).
Here are some of those out-of-this-world photos:
The Turtle and The Milky Way
The old turtle of Bear Rocks at Dolly Sods, West Virginia, directs a tired glance toward the heavens as the Milky Way core makes its autumn descent for the final time of the year, soon to be replaced by the great hunter Orion.
The Night Revered
Sinks of Gandy, West Virginia.
The Darkness Within
A mysterious glow illuminates the entrance to one of the igloos in the TNT area of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, an underground concrete bunker which once housed the TNT manufactured here at the end of World War II.
The moon above Seneca Rocks, West Virginia.
Raising the Milky Way
A bare hawthorn tree, situated against the night sky and the mountains illuminated by a passing vehicle, appears to be pushing the Milky Way across the night sky tinged green by the atmospheric airglow in Canaan Valley, West Virginia.
Bridge Buttress Milky Way
New River Gorge Bridge, Fayetteville, West Virginia.
Milky Way Arch Across Spruce Knob
The full arch of the Milky Way stretches across the horizon on a clear night from atop the highest point in West Virginia, Spruce Knob.
Citadel of Night
Milky Way at Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, West Virginia.
Stars Above The Capitol
The capitol building of West Virginia sits along the Kanawha River with the night sky bedazzled in stars, their motion shown in this long exposure shot, as a spotlight illuminates the building’s gold-capped crown, extending its light to Polaris, the ever-present North Star.
The Crossroads of Time
Spruce Knob, West Virginia.
Whispers of the Night
Spruce Knob, West Virginia.
Bring Us The Stars
The National Radio Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia, is home to the world’s largest steerable radio telescope, sensitive enough to provide a look into the origins of the universe. Here it is captured at a distance over time with the passage of time marked by the trail of stars in the sky above.