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American Electric Power (AEP) owns 60,000 acres of land near Zanesville, Ohio that has been strip mined for coal. They’ve opened it to the public as reclaimed recreation, or ReCreation as they put it, land with hiking, biking, and horse riding trails, camping, and fishing. It also happens to have some the darkest skies you can find in Ohio.

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Deep greens and blues

You need really dark skies to photograph the Milky Way. Recently I’ve been so preoccupied with improving my Milky Way photography that I’ve dismissed taking photos on clear nights if the moon is out. Turns out I was missing what these beautiful, clear, moonlit nights had to show me.

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Star Trails

Astrophotography is much more appealing if you include an interesting foreground element. There’s an abandoned schoolhouse just 15 miles east of Columbus that sits under a surprisingly dark sky. On a clear moonless night I went to see if I could create a star trails photo there.

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Starry, starry night

Rose Lake in Hocking Hills, Ohio has skies dark enough to see and photograph the Milkyway. It’s past Milkyway season (yes, there’s a Milkyway season) here in Ohio, but we had a clear moonless night recently and I wasn’t about to waste it.
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