Milky Way


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Sep 15, 2015
Reaction score
Idaho, USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
My middle boys have no had some photography classes and are into it right now. I'm enjoying that. We camped out to shoot some stars on Saturday night.

One of my favorites, but I'm biased.


30 sec @ f/2.8, 8mm, ISO 3200.

The other end of the Milky Way coming down over the city. Not really an interesting composition, but I like the juxtaposition of the stars over the city from which they mostly cannot be seen. This is Boise, Idaho.

30 sec @ f/2.8, 8mm, ISO 3200.


30 sec @ f/2.8, 28mm, ISO 3200. 30 seconds is getting a bit too long for 28mm. And the zoom lens lacks corner sharpness wide open. I want to go back and try this again with a different lens. I also brought my 3 year old. He woke up, got cold, was clingy, and didn't allow me to do much more.
very interesting, great set
Very nice images, particularly the third one.

I think it is great that you are getting your boys into photography at an early age. Hopefully, this is something they will "be into" for life. I got my start very early one when someone bought me a small black box with a piece of glass in it for a birthday present - little did they know what they started! :biggrin-93: Today, we can start them out with a camera that's has as much or more processing power in it as the first satellites we sent into space.

I am reminded of the quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson - “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” Photography will do that for your boys and hopefully open a world of creative and artistic pursuit for life.

Great photos!

Im really interested in astrophotography and ive tried a few times myself, i only have a compact digital camera at the moment and the best i can get is 15 sec @ f/3.2 and it seems to only let me shoot at ISO100 with that shutter speed..
Ive just started to take an interest in photography so theres still basics i need to learn, but most of my star shots need alot of work in GIMP to make it look good. I can photograph the moon easily with the huge zoom range but id like to be able to shoot star photos well in the future too.

Keep up the good work :)
i only have a compact digital camera at the moment...
Compacts are really out of their league for Milky Way photography. APS-C sensors are mostly good enough--barely. If you have an interest in it you really should move up. If you have tight budget, a few years old APS-C mirrorless camera plus a wide/fast Rokinon lens is pretty reasonable.
That's pretty crazy that you can get that with just 30 seconds. Where I live, there would be too much light pollution to get a shot like that.

By the way, how do you know where the milky way will be and at what time?

What camera a lens were you using for these by the way?
You have to do it in about 30 seconds, depending on focal length and intended display size. Otherwise the stars start to make trails. Trails can be nice too, but if you have them then they need to be long--there is no good in-between. So you also need a fast lens and high ISO. Someday I'm going to try piggybacking my camera on a tracking telescope mount. Then the foreground would be motion blurred, but maybe I could also take a steady exposure and combine.

You definitely need dark, but you can find dark places in Florida too! Map.
Stellarium (free planetarium software) or Google Earth can show you where to find the MW from wherever you will be. The moon has to be down. Near the new moon is therefore best. Especially leading up to it because it tends to be easier to stay up late than get up early (though I tend to do both). Late summer is when the MW season peaks, but it tends to be straight up (like here) and that can really limit your compositions. I got this one in at about 4 AM in April.

Camera/lens: Mostly Samsung NX500 with Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 fisheye. My boys do just fine with their cheap NX1100's and the same lens (we pass it around). The photo in the link from April (above) was on a $200 NX1100. The last one is on a Nikon D7000 w/ 28-75 f/2.8 Tamron (not ideal). In the APS-C sensor size, mirrorless is king in my book only because of the existence of some superb Rokinon glass. Anything else even close to as good is way out of my price range.
Yeah, i didnt expect mind blowing results with my camera, it does pick up stars in the photo but nowhere near as impressive as a proper DSLR. Its been a useful stepping stone into a proper DSLR though as it has has access to all the manual settings and its quite versatile for such a small camera

Il maybe post up my own thread with some star shots to get some feedback from you and others. I think il be getting an entry level package Nikon D3200 at the end of the year, its not a massive improvement but im hoping to get some better results with it
I love my Rokinon 12mm 2.0. Even wide open it's pretty sharp but I've had the most success around 2.5. I use it on my NEX-7. Like you said, the key is getting away from those city lights.
Those are great! I like the tent shot a lot, and I think it's great you're bringing your kids out for adventures like this.
Love the tent shot as well!
yup love the tent shot. I want to get one like this next camping trip. I hope they stick with the interest.
Nice shots!

The "astronomer" in me likes the shot of the tent just before dawn (#2 in the set) with the Andromeda galaxy just left of the Milky Way (near the top of the image).

I also like #3 -- shot in late evening -- where I see Aldebaran (the red "angry" eye of Taurus the Bull -- and the Taurus constellation (the "V" shape formation of stars in the extreme lower right corner of the frame just above the horizon), the Pleiades cluster, the Andromeda Galaxy, and the North American nebula.

You're right on #4... the lens is too long for a 30 second exposure. The stars are elongated from movement.
By the way, how do you know where the milky way will be and at what time?

You do need to get away from urban light pollution (and even small town light pollution) -- and you'll want a moonless night sky. And when you're at that dark/moonless sky location ... you'll have no trouble finding the Milky Way... just look "up" and you'll see it.

In heavily light polluted skies, you won't see the Milky Way at all. In slightly darker skies you'll see a hazy band but without much structure. If skies are a little darker you'll start to see some structure. In skies that are darker still you'll see much more structure & dark dusty lanes. In exceptionally excellent dark sky locations you feel like you can reach up and touch it.

Shoot in RAW and only in RAW ... in the image out of the camera the difference between background sky glow levels and the Milky Way may be subtle... but with some TLC in post processing you can "stretch" those difference and tease quite a bit of detail out of the sky (but you MUST shoot in RAW.)

April, May & June the Milky Way is laying almost on the horizon after sunset and you have to wait many hours for it to rise high enough to photograph depending on atmospheric quality.

I use planetarium software to plan observing. My favorite is Starry Night Pro Plus 7 on the computer or Sky Safari Pro on a tablet (iOS or Android) -- these are paid apps. Stellarium is a planetarium program that runs on desktop computers and it is free (oddly, the version made for iOS and Android is not free... I think a third party did that port and they charge a fee for that version.) You can use any of these to find the location of the Milky Way for any date, time, or viewing location.

Most reactions

New Topics