Here Comes the Night

Partying with the Stars

Story and Photos By Jon Mills

My interest in Idaho’s night skies is a passion born of necessity. Landscape photography rather famously has a very short amount of time in the morning and evening when the light is most favorable for pictures.

I am most often at work during the day, which usually limits my available time for photos, and one such evening I found myself arriving at a location a bit too late for a good picture. I decided to just sit and watch the stars for a while before loading up my gear and heading home. After night fell and some time had passed, I noticed that I could easily make out the faint Milky Way and decided to adjust my camera and take a shot anyway. Mecca! An Idaho treasure previously unknown to me had suddenly been discovered. I could hardly believe the amount of light and detail I was able to capture from the very little light I could see. What had begun as an unfortunate circumstance for landscape photography wound up being just the push I needed to find a new passion for what I call “Nightscapes.”

More research revealed why I was able to capture the amazing night sky of southern Idaho. The combination here of high altitude, low light pollution, and a landscape covered in dark rock offers a view of our night sky many people throughout the world will never have the opportunity to see—and for a photographer, this fortunate combination allows the light of billions of stars to come shining down with brilliant clarity. That was the reason I could make these images with only the stars as my light.

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Jon Mills

About Jon Mills

Jon Mills first came to Idaho in the fall of 1991 and has lived here ever since. Born February 3, 1981 in Santa Barbara, Jon has always loved the outdoors and taking pictures of it. Just a few years ago, his picture-taking took a turn toward the professional side and has been progressing steadily ever since. More of his work can be seen at

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