Milky Way Yes, Aurora No

Panorama of the Milky Way, looking East on Gooseberry

Finally, a clear night. Since we are just after the new moon, early this morning was a great time to view and photograph the Milky Way. The galactic center rose about 2 AM.  I was also hoping for Aurora but only ended up with the Milky Way. This is a panorama of the Milky Way viewed from Gooseberry neck in Westport, Massachusetts.

My son and I started off photographing the Milky Way at Horseneck Beach State Reservation. We utilized the boardwalk coming from the first bathhouse to obtain views of the Milky Way over Gooseberry with both the dunes and beach in the foreground.

For camera control, I utilize the Pluto Trigger, which is Bluetooth enabled and controlled from my smart phone. http://www.plutotrigger.com?afmc=8d..

My other equipment was a Nikon D810, Rokinon lens 24 mm set on an Induro tripod with a three-way pan head. Settings were between f/1.4-2, 20 seconds shutter speed, and ISO 1250. After importing the images into Lightroom and selecting which images I want to process. After doing initial processing in LightRoom the images were exported into Photoshop and there I did the final development use utilizing Adam Woodward’s workflow to make the Milky Way pop. You can find more information at Adams site www.adamwoodworth.com.  I will post the before and after images.  Notice how flat the unprocessed image is and the “POP” with postprocessing.

Milky Way view across the dunes at Horseneck beach, unprocessed image
Milky Way view across the dunes at Horseneck beach
Unprocessed image. Looking across the beach at Horseneck toward Gooseberry and the Milky Way filling the sky
Looking across the beach at Horseneck toward Gooseberry and the Milky Way filling the sky

This month, is a great time to create the panorama of the Milky Way. During the first of the month at 3 AM the Milky Way are assented East at about 25° high and stretches from south to north. At the end of the month it will be 35° high but that is midmorning in the best time to photograph his journey time of the new moon which will occur on 26 April. Kevin Adams publishes a monthly night photography events calendar. www.kadamsphoto.com

So, when the weather is permitting get outside and photograph the beautiful night sky.