A 100 degree, wide field of view image of the Split Rock Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet, Victoria. The single photo was taken at 21:58 on 2/8/2014, at low tide from the reef in front of Lands’ End lookout, looking south. Eagle Rock can also be seen on the horizon.
The 20-second exposure shows the bright quarter moon illuminating the foreground. The surf has swirled and smoothed out over 20 seconds creating an unusual sense of calm for this rugged coastline.
The beautiful lighthouse beams over the water and above it the Milky Way stretches vertically. The brightest star near the top is one of the pointers and this leads below to the Southern Cross (Crux) with the dark region of the coal sack in between. Below Crux the pink of Eta Carinae nebulae can be picked out with the spectacular pendant star cluster of blue stars to its left. Some of these structures are easier to first pick out in the vertical version of this shot ‘Light over Ocean’.
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 20-sec exposure, ISO3200, F2.8.
Canon 6D. Nikon 14-24mm at 14mm. Standard tripod. Shutter release.
Adobe Lightroom 5. Topaz Denoise.