A 100 degree, wide field of view image of a beautiful winter landscape scene at Mount Hotham, Victoria. The single photo was taken at 00:26 on 22/8/2014 on top of the small peak to the east of the Big D ski field, facing west.
The 30-second exposure allowed some of the foreground to be illuminated by the lights of the nearby ski lodges, which also warms the sky on the horizon. A magic Australian Snow Gum stands high above the snow covered mountaintop and the lights from the lodges reflect off some of its leaves.
The brightest portion of the Milky Way extends across the sky. The colours and dark lanes are truly amazing and it’s a pity we can’t see them with our own eyes. The brightest stars around a quarter of the way in from the left edge are the pointers and they lead to the Southern Cross (Crux), which is just above the tree line. Just above Crux, the dark region of the coal sack can be seen. Just to the left of the Snow Gum, the orange star of Antares can be seen. This is the heart of the constellation Scorpius and is often incorrectly thought to be the planet Mars. The claws of Scorpius are below Antares and its tail extends above it across the bright part of the Milky Way.
I always aim to balance the exposure and gentle processing to try to maintain the relative brightness of stars and their natural colours rather than oversaturating the Milky Way, which can look unnatural.
A single 30-sec exposure, ISO3200, F2.8.
Canon 6D. Nikon 14-24mm at 14mm. Standard tripod. Shutter release.
Adobe Lightroom 5. Topaz Denoise.