The Milky Way in Venice, FL

Updated: Sep 28, 2019

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Photographing the Milky Way in Venice, FL is a challenge. The skies are heavy with light pollution. Still, I thought it would be cool to photograph the Milky Way with the Venice Fishing Pier. Now the Pier is next to Sharky's Restaurant and the small regional airport. On top of it, the City of Venice is just north of the beach.


Despite the challenges, this is where I made my first successful attempt to photograph the Milky Way on July 17, 2016.


EXIF 24mm, f/1.4, 30 seconds, ISO 1600 - Edited in Lightroom and Aurora HDR

In the image above, you can see what the camera recorded on the left. The Pier had been destroyed in 1981 by the infamous "No Name Storm." When rebuilt, it came with very bright pole lighting. So any single shot recording was going to deal with an overwhelming brilliance. After editing out most of the light pollution in Lightroom (the middle image), I used Aurora HDR to complete the edits.


Recently the Venice Fishing Pier had a makeover. So I headed out last weekend to photograph the Milky Way over the Pier. Along with the renovations the pole lighting fixtures were replaced with sea turtle-friendly, under-handrail lights.


EXIF 24mm, f/2.8, 15 seconds, ISO 1600 - Edited in Lightroom

The removal of the lights was a dramatic improvement. I had a lovely time laying in the cool sand watching the stars, and clouds drift by. The music from Sharky's was dancing on the wind. I had an occasional plane to break up the scenery. Once in a while, you heard a fisherman swear, "damit!" So I set my camera up begin to create.


EXIF 24mm, f/2.8, 15 seconds, ISO 1600 - Edited in Lightroom with final edits in Aurora HDR.

The image you see above is two images stitched together to add more of the night sky. Unfortunately, there was plenty of cloud cover. I'll keep my eyes "weather" peeled for next time, especially with a light-friendly Pier.


Side Note - The bright streaks of light are coming from the nightly air traffic over Venice. Keep in mind most of the light you do see isn't from the Pier. It's from Sharky's Restaurant.


Sharky's Restaurant - EXIF 24mm, f/2.8-f/22, 15 seconds, ISO 100 - Edits in Aurora HDR. Created from 5 different f/stop bracketed exposures.


© donovan evans aka foto dono - all images and text