A 100 degree, wide field of view image of the lookout at The Horn, with the Milky Way extending vertically on its right side. The single exposure, was taken at 23:26 on 25/1/2015 facing south in Victoria’s beautiful Mount Buffalo National Park.
The 30-second exposure allows the foreground to be captured, which is gently illuminated by a setting small moon, very low in the west. An inversion layer in the atmosphere and the long red light provided by the setting moon produces the sky colours and gradient. The gently light provides beautiful colours for the stone of the lookout.
The brightest stars of the Milky Way, level with the top of the lookout 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 on the right of the image are our neighbouring galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic clouds. The very bright star near the top of the image is the supergiant star Canopus, the second brightest in the night sky after Sirius.
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 oversaturating 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.