Updated: May 23
The ability to photograph the Milky Way isn't new or that hard to do. It would help if you had the right set of tools and some time. This desire is only a recent obsession. It all began when I took my ten-year-old son to the beach. We viewed Jupiter and Venus hanging low in the sky. He held my hand as we looked up.
I took the image below when he was 12, on a visit to Assateague Island to photograph The Milky Way on October 21, 2016. I've had just begun learning how to find and photograph the Milky Way. After several failed attempts, I finally got one that worked for me. The highlight of the night is when he gave me a high-five after the capture. He was just as excited as me when the image on the back of the camera appeared. I think I was waking at least 10 feet off the ground that night because of his excitement.
When I was born in '69, it was towards the end of space exploration's golden age of space exploration. Men were still walking on the moon when I was a toddler. While my son has been growing up in exciting times, I'm not sure If I'll be able to show the wonder and hope I felt when I was ten gazing up at the moon.
So, I drag him to the middle of these dark places where light pollution hasn't quite reached yet, far from the cities. There he can see space, the planets, moons, meteors, and the center of our cosmic galactic home. I make photos so that he will have recordings of these moments of us staring into space. I am hoping to show him my sense of the Cosmic Perspective. I hope to inspire him to go where no one has gone before. In the end, I hope I've given him a good start for his dreams.
The image is available for print; please click here for details.