This is a photo I took last winter but never posted. My original intent was to go to Popham Beach to photograph the milkyway but the clouds obscured it so I decided to photograph the clouds. The long exposure created some nice streaking action.
After looking at my photos from Pemaquid last week, I wasn’t totally satisfied, I knew I could do better. I thought about it all week and envisioned the type of photograph I wanted to take. My original plan was to go early Sunday morning but the below zero temps kinda put a damper on that so I decided to go Monday morning. Well, the temps didn’t warm up at all but the sky conditions were right for the image I wanted. I have two apps on my iPad, Sky Walk and The Photographer’s Ephemeris that show all the features of the night sky and where they’ll be at certain times of the day and times of the year. Normally the milkyway is photographed during the new moon because moon light will wash out the stars. This particular day the quarter moon set at 12:30 AM so I knew there wouldn’t be that extra light to deal with. My two apps showed the milkyway would rise shortly before 4 AM and this time of year it’s low in the sky, just above the horizon. I got up at 2:30 AM and hit the road, it was 10 below zero F. This is one of the images I took, it’s a combination of 5 five photos combined in Photoshop to make the panorama. Monday morning was the first time I had a battery stop working because of the cold, luckily I had just bought a spare so I was able to exchange it and keep on clicking. By the time I got home shortly before 7 the temp had dropped to 15 below, I’m so glad I had hand warmers. It’s hard to make out in this picture, but the sub zero temperatures created plenty of sea smoke.
My last trip to Reid State Park to photograph the Milky Way did not produce any Milky Way shots. I went back at the beginning of the month to attempt it again. At this time of year the Milky Way doesn’t appear over the Atlantic like back in June and July, it’s more west, although if I was at the same spot as the last Reid post it would’ve been over the beach. However it was clearer the night I was there and I think the lights of Portland would’ve been an issue. The trees in the background of this image helped block the lights because I was down low looking up. This image is a combination of two. The milky way was exposed at ISO 3200, f2.8 for 30 seconds focused at infinity. For the foreground I focused on the rocks in the front and exposed that at ISO 1600, f2.8 for 6 minutes.
I’m still trying to improve my night photography techniques. I took this photo a couple of weeks ago at Popham Beach. As the season progresses the milkyway slowly moves west across the night sky. The lights of Portland show up on the right of this image, if I had been in this same spot earlier in the summer the milky way would’ve been more south and to the left, so directly over the ocean and I would not have picked up any lights, the lights reflecting off of the haze in the distance didn’t help. All I would’ve had to do is move my camera position to the right so the milkyway would’ve still lined up with the life guard tower. That’s the challenge with this type of photography, finding an area there is truely dark, in this day and age it’s difficult but not impossible. Maybe next month I’ll go further north and away from city lights.
Friday I was at Reid State Park photographing the pond of waterlilies. Monday I went back to photograph the sunrise, it was very humid so the sun rose as a red ball. The rugosa roses are in full bloom so after taking a photo facing east I pointed my camera west to include a small batch of roses and Mile Beach. The full moon was also setting and can be seen through the humid air.