A 100 degree, wide field of view image of the Split Rock Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet, Victoria. The single photo was taken at 22:42 on 2/8/2014. I waited over four months for the Milky Way to line up with the lighthouse and a small moon low in the west, all on a clear night! The wait was worth it.
The 30-second exposure allowed the foreground to be illuminated by the quarter moon, which was low in the west and just out of the field of view below. The beautiful lighthouse beams the brightest portion of the Milky Way from it. 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 to the left of the lighthouse are the pointers and they lead to the Southern Cross (Crux), which is half way from the lighthouse to the left edge of the image. Just to the right of Crux the dark region of the coal sack can be seen. Near the left edge of the image is the pink of the Great Eta Carinae Nebula, a massive star-forming region. To the right of the lighthouse and below the Milky Way the bright 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.