Milky Way where are you?
When I was a kid growing up in Orange County, the Milky Way was still visible by the naked eye. Nowadays, light pollution from growing cities make it appear almost obsolete. I started to realize that maybe kids today have never even seen it or know that it exists at all.
With the continued bad news in the headlines about how the world is treating our Earth and its wild.. and even other people for that matter.. I set out to find this vast mystery in the sky that obviously is a vital part in our existence. I needed a break and to get in touch with something greater than all of our problems and disagreements. Something that remains constant.. I didn't want to have to travel to beautiful but distant New Zealand to rediscover the majesty of the Milky Way.
I wanted it back.. right here where I remember it.
We explored deep into the night around the valley, scouting locations and experimenting with what the perfect settings would be for my current equipment. No fancy lens, just a 18-135mm f/3.5.
Practice was essential so I wouldn't be fumbling about my settings on my set date the 13th-14th, a dark night close to the new moon.
When I arrived, I knew right away.. this was the place. There she was over the valley, billions of night lights twinkling in the sky competing with the orange glow of human happenings. She still glows, but now even brighter through the lens.
Soon the Galactic Core will descend below the horizon and it will be a long Winter before we see it again in late Spring. I'm glad I didn't miss it. In a short time I have grown very fond of photographing the night sky. I will be doing it more often because it has shown me a different perspective. Being mainly a wildlife and avian photographer, my view of the world through a telephoto lens is like the mouse... Up there in the sky, I'm more like the Hawk looking down below at the bigger picture. Although my brain is still here under the constraints of gravity.. my mind is free, above the atmosphere.. closer to reality. Up there where it is still, I remember where we came from.
Canon 7D Mark II | 20 sec at f/3.5 | ISO 6400 | 18mm | Planned with PhotoPills a very useful night photography app.
A #Perseid meteor to the left of frame..
Important information added by PhotoPills:
"Yes, light pollution is a big big problem for night photographers. Fortunately associations like International Dark-Sky Association do a great job. They promote preservation and protection of night skies across the globe for future generations. You’ll find three types of areas in their database: communities, parks, and reserves. These parks and reserves are home to some of the darkest and most pristine skies in the world."
August 13th, 2015
Milky WayHudson ValleyLandscapesJess Deitz, from
Hudson Valley, New York