I've wanted to take a picture of the Milky Way for years and years. Last week I finally got my chance.
I took another trip to Scotland last week to see my cousin who has cancer. After many trips hoping for some decent conditions over the years when it was either cloudy, raining, blowing a gale or a full moon, conditions proved perfect on just one night of the five I was there this time. The last time I got anything like this up there was when comet Hale-Bopp was doing the rounds in 1996 and I go up on average three times a year!!! As kids we used to spend endless nights 'star gazing' on the Isles of Scilly where he grew up and despite him feeling so crap he took us out around 1am into the darkness of Dumfries & Galloway. What a bloke! There's no way I would have gone out on my own. You never know what's in those woods at night!!!
Anyway, I shot a ton of photos in RAW, all long exposures, in the hope I would get something workable. I knew where to point the camera so the hardest bit was finding some interesting foreground.
The RAW's that came out of the camera weren't all that spectacular and the long exposures (30 seconds at ISO1600) made the photos rather 'noisy'. I've spent a little over two and a half hours processing this single image using Photoshop and Lightroom and Noiseware to remove the 'noise' to get it to look like this so I won't be doing any more of the dozens I shot in a hurry! (If you saw the original you wouldn't think it was the same photo!)
Thanks to the light polution in this country most people will never see the likes of this. This photo is only possible by means of the long exposure. Whilst you can certainly see the Milky Way from the dark skies in Dumfries & Galloway it doesn't look quite like this to the naked eye. It's more of a vast 'cloud' of stars. Most people won't even realise you can see this from the UK. Until this week, I wasn't even sure a photo like this was possible from here. I've only ever seen photos of it taken from the depths of the US or Australia.
This is only a small portion of what you can see of it. The lower part is obscured by trees and large hills but I guess I shouldn't really moan.
Anyway, enough crap. Hope you enjoy the photo which I dedicate to my cousin and mate, Jay. Hope you get better soon mate. Keep on fighting.
Landscape and travel
jeronius, wyeth, Paintman and 36 more