The Milky Way photography season is upon us, and I couldn't be more excited. From November until February, the core isn't visible, so there is less effort made to head out in the middle of the night to shoot. Fast forward to March, and we are back in business.

The new moon, over the past few days, has allowed for brilliant night skies. It should also be noted that the weather has been fairly cooperative. The first shot below was from March 23, 2017, at Hoopers Inlet. The benefit of Hoopers is that it is surrounded by reasonably-sized hills, which prevent most of the Dunedin light pollution from affecting the briliance of the starry night sky. After locating the Milky Way, with the PhotoPills app, I proceeded to find the best spot to capture it with the most interesting foreground. It turns out this was actually in the water at Hoopers. I've included screen captures from the PhotoPills app, the planner and night AR.

 

Hoopers Inlet

Sony A7Rii - 16-35 f4

15 sec | f4 | ISO 6400 | 16mm

PhotoPills Planner

PhotoPills Night AR

My most recent astrophotography mission was this morning at 5am. A planned Aurora Australis shoot didn't materialize due to heavy clouds invading the night sky over Dunedin. The orignal plan was to shoot the Milky Way from the top of Mt Cargill, looking down over Mt Chalmers, and Blueskin Bay. All looked good (clear skies) until I reached the top of Mt Cargill, where a thick cloud bank was waiting for me. There was zero visibility at the top, so down I went. Fortunately the cloud clover was located primarlly at the top of Mt Cargill, and not much lower. This photo was taken on Mt Cargill Rd, just above a beautiful green farm pasture. The wind was far more powerful than I was expecting, and nearly didn't get a shot without tripod movement. Like the previous mission, this one was also planned out using PhotoPills.

You are a stunner Dunedin!

 

Milky Way rising over Port Chalmers

Sony A7Rii - 16-35 f4

15sec | f4 | ISO 6400 | 16mm

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