Old Cars and the Milky Way

Campo Motor Transport Museum at night with the Milky Way

Not long ago, I joined my camera club for a night photography adventure to capture the Milky Way. We drove east for about an hour to the Motor Transport Museum in Campo. This place is a glorious repository of all things rusty and weathered, thus a photographer’s playground.

We got there early to set up and select our subjects and compositions before dark. Then, all we had to do was wait for the stars to appear so we could capture the magnificence of the Milky Way core.

The stars started to appear around 8 pm and by 9 pm we were all entrenched in creating our images. Many of my peers were out there with their dedicated astro gear (a lot of lenses with f/2.8 or wider), and I “made it work” with my Canon R6 and 16-35mm f/4 L lens. Could I get better quality with a faster lens? Sure. Am I happy with what I got? Hell yeah!

Photographing the Milky Way

Old rusty truck at night with the Milky Way in the sky
15 seconds at f/4.5, ISO 3200

I tried a new (to me) technique with this photo – stacking. I captured 9 frames of the Milky Way (using the same settings) and then stacked them using Starry Landscape Stacker. This cool app also created a mask that allowed me to add a light-painted frame (using a Lume Cube) in Photoshop for the foreground. This one took several steps to get to the final result, but it wasn’t difficult, and the results were worth the effort.

Processed with Lightroom Classic, Starry Landscape Stacker, Photoshop, and Topaz DeNoise AI.

Old rusty truck at night with the Milky Way in the sky
15 seconds at f/4.5, ISO 3200

This photo is a single exposure, light painted with my Lume Cube very briefly. I had the light in my sweatshirt pocket to diffuse the light, gave it a couple of quick passes over the truck, probably 2-3 seconds worth of light, and that was all it needed.

Processed with Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, Luminar AI, and Topaz DeNoise AI

Old rusty tractor at night with the Milky Way in the sky and the Campo Motor Transport Museum in the background
15 seconds at f/4, ISO 5000

This was one of my last captures of the night. It was also a single exposure that I light painted with my trusty Lume Cube.

Processed with Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, Luminar AI, and Topaz DeNoise AI.

All in all, I’d say it was a successful evening. I got out of the house, was able to hang out with several of my favorite people, get some awesome photos, and take in an absolutely amazing night sky.

Visiting the Motor Transport Museum

If you’re interested in visiting the Motor Transport Museum, check out their website for hours and fees. Night visits are by appointment only. This place is truly a photographer’s heaven and I highly recommend it! It does get quite toasty on Summer days, so plan accordingly.


If you have questions about these photos (prints, anyone?) or the processes used to capture and process them, let me know in the comments below or contact me directly.

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  1. Kevin La Rue on August 17, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Super cool images, AA! I’m very inspired by this, having shot at the museum a couple of times and interested in astrophotography (via my “hero” Jack Fusco).

    Keep up the good work on the blog, rock star – I’m a fan! 😺

  2. Joni Gerking on September 3, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    Maybe it’s just me, but I love the way you captured the Milky Way almost as steam coming out of the radiator!

    • Angela Andrieux on September 5, 2021 at 2:16 pm

      Thanks, Joni! I hadn’t thought about it that way, but you’re right!

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