Geoff shoots the Milky Way – Morocco
I cocked up with this photo and here’s why.
When we decided to go to Morocco we booked a tour that included 3 nights camping in the Sahara. I’ve wanted to shoot the milky way for ages but sadly living in London means that even on a clear night there’s never more than about half a dozen stars about. Since we were going to be on the edge of a rather large desert I knew that the chances of getting very clear skys and some good opportunities to take pictures of the milky way were high.
The first night conditions were a bit hazy so I didn’t bother trying. Our second night was at another more remote camp. We were getting there via 4X4′s and were told to take only the essentials for a nights stay, clothes and toothbrushes etc. So I foolishly left my tripod behind. I’ve course conditions were perfect…
So all I had was my camera, an ultra wide angle zoom, and a backpack. I’d had visions of something amazing, a stacked picture of the milky way with a sand dune or tent in the foreground, that all went out the window. I had to hold the camera in my hand, focus on a bright star, then carefully lay the camera on my bag pointing up towards the heavens, guess the composition, fire a 30 second shot of with my remote and hope for the best. Below is the best I got.
Because I couldn’t stack images (I wasn’t going to take a dozen shots only to find the camera was miles off, I was also sharing my bag with a girl who’d also left her tripod behind!) I had to crank the ISO up to 6400, I’m pretty sure most of these stars are sensor noise. I’ve also had the aperture set to f4, instead of f3.5 which would’ve let through a wee bit more light.
After a bit of post production in photoshop I’ve ended up with this, not bad for a first effort I think. I can’t wait to try again but sadly the opportunity won’t present itself for quite some time!
I’m pretty sure the night sky always looked like this when I was a kid. Either Auckland got brighter or I stopped noticing, but now I live in London I miss the night sky.