Making a cloudy evening fun: Another Milky Way Shoot

Yes, we tried it again, and, yes, the clouds rolled in and hid most of the Milky Way. The forecast called for clear skies, but Mother Nature had other plans. But, with the help of Karen, we had fun light painting, catching color off the clouds and enjoying each others company. For a few, it was a first for night photography.

We shot up at my husband’s observatory. He didn’t get clouded out until just about the time we decided to leave. He does deep space imaging, so his criteria is different.

I’m glad I was with photographers who make the best out of a somewhat bad situation. Will we try again? I’m sure we will. Anyway,here are some of the images I captured that evening.


Starry, starry night: An astronomy star party, Lake San Antonio, Monterey County, California

Dry brittle low lying ground cover with lots of fox tails and some wildflowers welcomed us to our campground at Lake San Antonio this past weekend. Some of it was due to the fact that we were in the overflow area where there were few trees, but the drought has also taken its toll.

But the wildlife activity was normal with many chipmunks and rabbits running the campground. They left small to large sized holes that Gem liked to stick his mussel into and I kept pulling him back. But we were there for the stars and there were plenty of them.

This was my first attempt at shooting star trails. So armed with my printed out tutorials, I set up my tripod and camera and did my best. Thank goodness for Lightroom! No matter what I did, my images turned out with a light tan background. Each night I used a different lens and kept the aperture open. I did 30 minute exposures because I didn’t have stacking software.

I brought my challenge to my Toastmasters Photo Club meeting, it was suggested that I needed to close down the aperture because I was letting in too much light. Well, I’ll try that the next time we go up to the observatory at Blue Canyon. It needs to get a little warmer for my body! In the meantime, I’ll show you what I did get.

I was also shooting during the day, catching some of the wildflowers and fox tails, and I’ll show you those images in my next post. On to my starry nights.