A couple of weeks ago, my son and I were playing around with our phone cameras trying out various night settings.  I think we captured the Milky Way in this picture because there were no clouds out that night.

The Rock Next Door to Mars


Can you hear me?

Can you see me?

Are you out there

‘tween the stars?


I’m here waving,

starlight saving,

on the rock next

door to Mars.

Photo and poem © Z. Judson and T. Kiff-Judson 2023


If you have an Android phone (not sure about Apple) and you download a camera extension app called “Expert RAW.”  It has an “Astrophoto” setting that will allow you to take longer-exposure night pictures.  We tried it with the August supermoon, but the moon was actually TOO bright and looked like the sun.  Happy star gazing!

Please visit the amazing Amy Ludwig Vanderwater at The Poem Farm for more Poetry Friday excitement!


The answers to The Devil's in the Details challenge:

  1. Looking down into a stemmed glass
  2. Toothpaste tube
  3. Metallic bubble wrap
  4. Felt-tipped markers
  5. Rolling pin
  6. Coffee beans


  • Tracey, I love playing around with digital tools so thanks for the tip. What you captured at night is a beautiful digitized piece of artwork. Can you imagine if there are aliens in the sky looking down at us what they might think of a wave or two? Happy Stargazing!
    • Thank you, Carol!  Do try the night photo option if you can get it to work.  With a little tinkering, we got some very cool pictures.
  • That is a STUNNING photo! Nice collaborative family project, photo and poem. We're all wondering if anyone is out there--Janice shared my poem "Visitors from other worlds" last week! You're so friendly, giving extraterrestrials a wave :) "Starlight saving" is a lovely turn-of-phrase.
  • I like the rhythm, moves like cheer or a celebratory song, Tracey, "I'm here waving/starlight saving". I'm way in the city so can capture the moon but will not see anything marvelous like your milky way picture. It's so wonderful!
    • Thank you, Linda!  You are right, we had to go out to the darkest spot that we could find to get the pictures to work well.  I bet you can get some cool night-city pictures!
  • Tracey, that must have been a satisfying moment to compose a poem with your son. I love the photo you captured of the Milky Way, and the sweet rhythmically pleasant poem you created to go with it is perfect. 
  • Ooh! Tracey - the photo is so cool! I have an Apple, but I'll have to find out if there's a similar app. I love ekphrastic poetry - and love where this image took you - star-gazing from a rock next to Mars! :)
    • Thank you, Patricia!  I just googled it: On iPhone 12 Pro and later Pro models with iOS 14.3 or later, you can take photos in Apple ProRAW. To take photos with ProRAW, go to Settings > Camera > Formats, then turn on Apple ProRAW under Photo Capture.  Maybe that is the ticket?!
  • What a gorgeous photo! It's one of those you'll be keeping for a long, long time, along with the memories and the beautiful poem. I love 'starlight-saving' and the 'rock next door to Mars'. That's very funny!
  • This is an amazing photo, Tracey, not just for its central image but for the tree-edges that frame it.  I love how you speak out to anyone who might be listening, watching you mess with your clumsy Earthbound tech tools! (I'm actually really glad to learn about the tool you used; now just have to find the analog for iPhone!)  
    • Thank you for your thoughts, Heidi!  According to Google: On iPhone 12 Pro and later Pro models with iOS 14.3 or later, you can take photos in Apple ProRAW. To take photos with ProRAW, go to Settings; Camera; Formats, then turn on Apple ProRAW under Photo Capture.  Hope that works for you!

Leave your comment

In reply to Some User