The Milky Way

Some people would think it mad, some foolish staying out till 3 or 4 am to get a shot of the milky way, but that is what me and a group of friends done last week. ive always wondered in awee how people get these fab photographs. So when my local group decided to have a late night i was up for the challenge. We set off at 9pm in a convoy of 3 cars headed for “Dark Skies” driving along familar roads with street lights then out into the country side crossing single lane bridges that were built for horse and carts.  After and hour and a half we pulled into a car park of which the entrance had hundreds of sheep asleep on it. They werent to happy at being disturbed. As we parked up, about 50 metres ahead of us was a tree the moon was quite low in the sky but not a cloud in sight. Within half and hour the tree was beginning to disappear into the darkness as the sky begin to fill with a thousand stars.

We then began setting up our tripods and cameras while gazing in awe at the fab sight that was unfolding overhead. The stars where multiplying and you could see the beginning of a milky white cloud that is the Milky Way.  This was one WOW of a moment and for a few minutes we all just stood in wonder admiring the stars and noticing the odd shooting star.  In the pitch black cameras ready to start clicking and praying the camera was set up right as altering it in the dark isnt easy, more so when you are use to using auto settings with a flash this is a totally different kind of photography. My camera was set with the lens wide open to let in the light, with the iso boosted as high as i could get it and long shutter speed set at 25 seconds I set about getting my first photo. I was pretty much out of focus when i viewed it back so refocussed on the tree with the help of a torch then the second short was wow i got it. Then it was a case of getting as many as possible as in the distance we could see some low cloud rolling in.  So that was the end of our night shoot but the time had flown by and it was 1.30am, time to head home to bed .

For my first attempt at “astrophotography” i was over the moon almost literally and its given me to motivation to get out more and push my limits and learning. Below are some of my pics taken using a Nikon D5000 and 18-55mm kit lens.


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