Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Milky Way, from Idaho

Yesterday the Boise Camera Club took a field trip to Bruneau Sand Dunes. We went out to shoot the dunes, and the Milky Way. It was a gorgeous night, perfect temperature, no wind, no clouds - and the Milky Way was spectacular.

Although I've done some astrophotography before, I haven't done much of it, so last night was an experiment.

This first image is one created using my barn door tracker. It's a great tool that allows for longer exposures without star trails. This particular one was 421 seconds long (7 minutes). The tracker seems to have worked really well, meaning I had it well aligned with the North Star. You can also see a shooting star (meteor, meteorite - I don't know what the proper name is). That was just good timing.

This next image was only 30 seconds, but I shot it at ISO 12,800, the highest my camera will go. I really like the starlight reflected in the lake.

For a different look, I added some closer foreground objects, trees in this image, to add some depth. I think this might be my favorite from the night.

Lastly, we created a different look. With the help of Brad and Sam, I used my headlamp to light up the tree. I was aiming at the Milky Way hoping to make it look like the galaxy extended all the way to the ground. It turned out pretty well. I had to do some creative processing, but I like the look.

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