Sometimes plans don’t go according to plan. I originally had the idea of taking photos of the milky way with black eyed susans as a foreground subject. Well, the lights of Freeport and clouds washed that idea out. Instead I just pointed the camera to a darker section of sky (the west) and got this photo instead. This image is a focus stack of two photos, one focused on the sky, the other on the foreground flowers and blended in Photoshop. The sky exposure was 25 seconds at f2.8, ISO 1600 and the flowers, 30 secs @ f2.8 and the same ISO but for the flowers I used my headlamp to skim light onto them. The lens was the Canon 16-35 2.8L on my 7D Mark II. After shooting the daisys I learned not much light is needed, I just move the light across the flowers for about a second or two. I discovered if you shine the light for too long on one area you tend to get a too bright, spotlight effect. I like the way the long sky exposure cause the clouds to streak adding a little something extra to the photo.
The other night the northern lights were visible in Maine. I wasn’t out with my camera that night but I read some Facebook chatter the lights were going to make another appearance on Wednesday night. When I got out of work I grabbed my camera and took a drive to Sabattus River, the aurora was a no show but I did get this image of a batch of daisys. There was a half moon out so the milky way didn’t show up as brilliantly as it did last Friday. This time of year and the time of night I was out, the milky way shows up best looking south, I was looking north hoping to spot the northern lights. As for the daisys, I used my headlamp to skim a little light onto the blossoms.
The internet has been inundated with Milky Way photos lately but I had to try my hand at it. Last night I took a ride to Reid State Park at midnight and the sky couldn’t be clearer. I’ve actually been planning this binocular shot for a few months but since then, I’ve seen a similar one taken by someone else. I assure you I didn’t copy the idea.
Last evening I went outside to test the 7D Mark II on how it would do with some night sky photography. This is across the street from my house and the trees are lit up by a street lamp about a hundred feet away. I think the quality is pretty good compared to my 60D. Now that I know the 7D does a pretty good job I need to get to a more scenic location, with no clouds, and try photographing the milky way. I think the big star just above the trees is planet Jupiter.