A 100 degree, wide field of view image of beautiful rocky peak, the Cathedral, with the Milky Way extending vertically from its left. The single exposure was taken at 22:33 on 25/1/2015 facing south in Victoria’s beautiful Mount Buffalo National Park and by chance captured two shooting stars.
The 30-second exposure allows the foreground to be illuminated by a setting small moon, low in the west to the right of the image. The illuminated snow gums seem to dance in the moonlight and the shadows seem to enhance the power of the rocky peak. The brightest stars of the Milky Way, level with the top of the Cathedral, are the pointers and they lead above to the Southern Cross (Crux) with the dark region of the Coal Sack in between. Above Crux the bright Eta Carinae nebulae can be picked out. The two ‘smudges’ of light high above the cathedral are our neighbouring galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic clouds.
I always aim to balance the exposure and gentle processing to try to maintain the relative brightness of stars and their natural colours when possible rather than over saturating the Milky Way, which can look unnatural.
A single 30-sec exposure, ISO6400, F2.8.
Canon 6D. Nikon 14-24mm at 14mm. Standard tripod. Shutter release.
Adobe Lightroom 5. Topaz Denoise.