Last Light of Durin's DayLast Light of Durin's Day

Underneath the Milky Sky

June 12, 2016  •  5 Comments

  I have been enduring a few sleepless nights and coffee-fuelled days in the last week or so, but it's all been worth it for the nighttime views I've witnessed lately. I've been out with my camera attempting to capture the exquisite beauty of the Milky Way galaxy, but there were also many moments of just sitting under the stars, contemplating the existence of my own self on this planet Earth - just another tiny dot of light within the vastness of the universe. 
Heavens From The 7thThe Milky Way galaxy as seen from the country beyond Kincardine, Ontario.
  

  It began last weekend when I waited up until past midnight to capture the Milky Way galaxy core as it rose behind the historic Point Clark, Ontario imperial lighthouse. My husband drove us out to the relatively dark spot and I set up my shot to best block out the several floodlights around the surrounding buildings, while still including those ethereal sweeping beams of light. Luckily, some beautiful trees were there to help with a nice composition. We were only on site for a few minutes when there was a booming sound - the kind of sound you feel in your bones and soul more than you hear with your ears. It was unsettling to say the least, and with bears known to be roaming the area, and a second percussion shaking the ground, I decided quickly that surely I'd gotten a shot I'd be satisfied with, and we up and left! Safe at home, after some careful post-processing, this was my final result:
Galaxy To The PointThe Point Clark, Ontario Lighthouse beams under the Milky Way rising.

 
   I even had a chance to include Mars (and lilacs!) with the lighthouse, from a different angle. 
Point Clark DarkThe Point Clark Lighthouse beams with a glowing red planet Mars


  The last few nights, Mars has been a bright red dot in the sky, on its closest approach to Earth in many years. Not far away from Mars lingers Saturn, another vivid point of light. With the help of my Sigma 500mm lens and a steady tripod, after several attempts to find the right settings (not too much light or details are lost!), I finally captured a tiny pinprick of light in a mostly black photograph, which I was able to zoom in on to see the fantastical rings of Saturn! (I realize this is a poor quality image, but considering the subject matter, I think I'll proudly keep it anyway.)
SaturnThe rings of planet Saturn


    When I posted the image of the Point Clark Lighthouse and the night sky, it was very well received by my fans on Facebook and Instagram; and thank you for that - I appreciate your encouragement! So it seemed only natural to do the Kincardine Lighthouse under the Milky Way as well. But that was going to prove more difficult, given the competing glow of the surrounding town lights, and the position of the galactic arc in relation to how the lighthouse is situated. Not quite knowing what to expect when I got there, I found myself wandering around the Kincardine harbour and pier very late one weeknight, scoping out the best positions for an out-of-this-world scene with the lighthouse. The Milky Way was still easy to pick out over the harbour, even through the obscuring bright lights below. 
Harbour of the Milky WayThe Milky Way, a meteor, and a plane in the night sky over Kincardine, Ontario harbour.


  However, if I was going to fit both the lighthouse and the very best parts of the sky into one image, I'd have to "shift" the sky over a wee bit, so I did just that in post-processing. I took a photo of the lighthouse and downtown buildings shining nicely through the night, and then I moved to take a different exposure of the Milky Way, Saturn, Mars, and myriad other twinkles overhead, finally blending the two images together for this (hopefully!) awe-inspiring scene. 
Kincardine GalaxyThe Milky Way galaxy along with planets Saturn and Mars shine over the historic lighthouse in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada.


  I will never tire of the stunning night sky, and I'm still constantly learning so I can improve upon my own astrophotography, so there will be many more celestial creations to come. Please leave your comments below, and let me know if you'd like to see some tips for shooting the night sky in a future blog post! Thanks for following!

  Sarah


  


 


Comments

5.Ken Texmo(non-registered)
Sarah: Your patience is rewarded with some fantastic photography. Very well done.
4.Rebecca Lewis
I would love to see tips on astrophotography and ALL of your photos on your blog. Your photography inspires me to get out enjoy nature and learn all I can about my camera. Thank you so much for sharing your passion!
3.VY Waller(non-registered)
Can we buy these photos. I would love the one of Kincardine and the lighthouse
2.Estelle Whittaker(non-registered)
Sarah, love the way that you're following your passion! It's so obvious that it's what you love to do. So great your family is so very supportive! ❤ Keep on following your dream....We're happy to be "tagging along".
1.Vicky Taylor(non-registered)
Wow, those photos are awe inspiring. Well done, I wish I had the patience. I take some nice shots but nothing to compare to this Yes, I would like to see some tips. I went out the one night when you posted the Borealis but never, never saw what you saw. Wonderful photos.
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