Patience, planning, knowledge, and a whole lot of luck. That's what was required to get this shot yesterday morning. I've been trying to get this lineup of the Milky Way above shark fin cove for a while, but as any astro shooter can tell you, conditions along the coast don't often work in your favor. Whether it's cloud coverage, the phase of the moon, the marine layer, the humidity, wind speeds, and sometimes just the temperature, there's a multitude of different conditions which affect your ability to photograph the milky way. Everything finally lined up to allow me to get this shot, with the added bonus of some spectacular air glow which caused the sky to dance with green shimmering light. Fog rolling in from the east blocked a fair amount of light pollution from nearby cities, causing the milky way to be every more vibrant. I was waiting for the milky way to line up in this position above the shark fin stack at 3am, and when I saw the fog rolling in quickly I knew I had a very short window of time to capture the data I needed for this picture. The sky is composed of 16 minutes of exposures captured on an iOptron Skytracker lent to me by @louiskchan. During the last exposure I could already see the stars starting to fade from the quickly advancing fog. I frantically halted the star tracker and set my remote to capture a 5 minute exposure of the beach and rocks below, praying that it would finish before the fog came in. Less than 10 minutes later, the fog had completely engulfed the coast. I feel so fortunate to have been able to get this shot, and it's certainly one of my favorite astro images I've ever taken.
Settings | Manual Exposure | f/3.5 | ISO 800 | foreground: 5 minutes, sky: 4 minutes, 4 exposures stacked
Gear | Sony A7 | Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 | iOptron Skytracker Pro
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