Unexpected Milky Way

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Late one evening, not long after I’d arrived in California, I was sitting on my parents sofa whilst watching tv, drinking vino, and scrolling through amusements on my iPhone. I decided to click into the SkyGuide app and see what was going on above me. I got pretty excited when I realized the Milky Way was rising in the front yard!

I shared this information with my favorite photography buddy (aka, my mom) and we decided to grab our gear and see what we could capture.

My parents live in a somewhat rural area, but it isn’t without light pollution so I wasn’t sure what we’d be able to get. I did a quick Google search on settings for astrophotography to get me started. It had been quite some time since I’d last done any astrophotography.

Milky Way | Edna Valley | California
30 seconds at f/4, ISO 1600

I was blown away at what my camera could pick up that my naked eye couldn’t see. SO. MANY. STARS.

The glow on the right side of the photos is the light from Pismo Beach and other cities to the south. To the left, the colorful fan of light was created by a nearby stoplight.

Milky Way | Edna Valley | California
30 seconds at f/4, ISO 2500

 

Milky Way | Edna Valley | California
30 seconds at f/4, ISO 2500

 

The Milky Way photos above were captured with my tripod-mounted Canon 6D and 16-35 mm lens. I included each photo’s settings in the individual captions. Processing was done in Lightroom and Luminar 2018.

I had hoped to get out and take more night photos while I was on the central coast, but I ran out of time…or the weather didn’t cooperate. (Fog makes for uninteresting night-sky photos.) I guess I’ll just have to try again next time I’m in town! I can only hope I’ll be back on the Central Coast of California again soon.

This post is Part 2 in a series of articles about my California adventures in July of 2018.

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