There are many variables to consider when heading out into the dark to make a Milky Way photo. The least of which is gear, except for a lens. My workflow changes with the equipment I have, but the settings don't change that much. Most current Mirrorless or DSLR cameras have the features needed to photograph the Milky Way. Most of my thoughts go into the planning stages, scouting locations, and finding ways to appease the weather gods.
Also, making photographs of the Milky Way is a way for me to connect and share experiences with my son, my family, and you all. Like any artist, I like sharing my vision and ideas. Photography is like any art, and it needs to be shaped and crafted. Still, social media can dilute the content of art photography. The phrase "everyone is a photographer" comes to mind. The use of algorithms and AI can reduce the art of choice to a simple click. The idea and purpose of capturing images are reduced to, "Because I can."
Anyone can photograph the Milky Way with the bare minimum tools. You could say the same about Sunsets, Sunrises, Moonrise, Moonset, landscapes, portraits, and other photography types.
So why do it? Is it for fame, riches, or to bring glory to him, who shall not be named, destroyer of worlds, lord of darkness, the heir to the Apocalypse? Well, it's certainly not for two of those reasons. 😜
The simple reason is that I love taking photos. I love talking about taking pictures. I love even writing about talking about taking photos. And I'll keep doing it for as long as I can.
If you reached this part, thank you for your indulgence. I hope the reading was enjoyable, entertaining, and informative. When I first decided to write about the upcoming Milky Way Season, I wanted to publish a quick calendar. I've gone from something small with about 1000 words to "Oh My God!" over 10,000 words between 10 posts. I'm not sure what that says about my state of mind. 😜 I wonder if I'm compensating for something? Either way, thank you for your time and patience.
If you have the opportunity to visit a place with a dark sky, enjoy the moment. The darkness is fading across the world, and one day the night skies will be a memory.
Here are two photos I took when I visited the panhandle of Nebraska. The darkest skies I've seen so far. I drove there with my son and my parents, cramped in a car full of camera gear and luggage. Two thousand miles, one way in a four-door Chevy Malibu. Yep, I think I am certifiable.
The top photo is the view from the backyard of the cabin we stayed. The bottom picture is the view of what was directly behind me.
Remember to keep looking up, be safe, and be well. I hope to see you too, out there, in the dark.
December 2020 to January 2021