Milky Way Over Darby

On March 2, 2017, in Montana, by admin
Milkyway Over Darby

Milkyway Over Darby (click to enlarge)

Here is my very first attempt at a Milky Way image.  Capturing the Milky Way turned out to be much easier than I expected.  While I was not able to capture the peak Milky Way, it still turned out pretty well.

There are several websites out there that will help you capture excellent Milky Way images:

Dark Site Finder will help you find areas with little ambient light (dark skies) to make the Milky Way and stars really shine

Dave Morrow Photography has tutorials, e-books, and Photoshop actions that walk through the process from equipment, set-up, capture, and post-processing.  This is an invaluable resource for night sky photography.

Photopills is a great app that has many ways to improve your photography.  In this case the Augmented Reality app will show you where and when the Milky Way rises and sets.  Use this app to schedule your night photography.

Clear Sky Chart provides an accurate hour-by-hour forecast of sky coverage and other information.  The forecast only goes out two days, so you can’t use it to plan too far ahead.  However, it will enable you to avoid that 0300 wake-up call to capture sunrise if the skies are going to be overcast.  I used the Clear Sky webpage to plan out our schedule daily and found it to be spot on.

Before we left for Montana, I condensed Dave’s setup and capture information into a document and “printed” it as a pdf file.  I then sent this file to my email and saved it on my iPhone.  That way I had a checklist of the proper set-up to capture the Milky Way.  One night after dinner I went to my friend’s backyard and set up using that checklist.

While I was not able to capture the full Milky Way in this location at this time of year, it did motivate me to want to try this again real soon.

Now to use Dark Site Finder to find a dark place on the East Coast during a meteor shower…