26 December 2017

If I ever get to shoot the Milky Way...

I've wanted to attempt shooting the Milky Way since I was a child. One day, I will have the proper equipment to do the job. For now, I must enjoy (and drool over) the stunning work of others, such as this series by Abe Blair. (See more of Abe's work here.)

I got a real kick out of some of the comments, particularly those doubting the authenticity of the photography.

For those who don't know how to capture the Milky Way on a fancy DSLR camera, in order to get the whole sky, an extremely wide angle lens must be used. Such lenses cause curved distortion. That's why they are called fish eyes.

Sometimes the photographers will use auxiliary lights to "paint" the dark landscape. The exposure used (extremely sensitive) to capture distant light in the heavens can distort and/or enhance the color of the sky and clouds. To capture professional-quality photos of the Milky Way, the photographer typically must get far away from city lights.

There also is a process called sandwiching. Multiple exposures are layered together to provide the landscape view at the tail end of the day with the night sky. The best of both worlds, so to speak. Typically, it takes a ton of planning, and often a ton of mistakes, to capture shots like Abe's.

One day, you'll see such pictures here. In the meantime, giggle with me over mainstream media comments on Abe's photos...

"Looks to me like pics from some computer game." - T

"I've been to many of the places in these pictures and I have never seen anything like this." - Big Al

"I've seen the Milky Way many times in the candy bar section of any food store." - Leland

"Who screwed up at Yahoo and actually posted beautiful pictures!!!!" - Alex

"I love the Milky Way. I also like Snickers and 3 Musketeers." - Leonard

"How does he get pictures of starlight when there is still sun on the horizon? I am skeptical that these pictures are real." - DebbieA

"These look like pics from Hubble, not Earth's atmosphere." - Edward

"Very inspiring presentation. I'm not sure I understand the curved structure of the galaxy in some photos." - Dwight

"Once a photo starts down the PhotoShop path, at what point does it become the digital equal of a watercolor painting?" - one eyed jack

"That is not what the human eye sees, how much did you manipulate the photos in Photoshop or what ever you use." - William

This comment's actually right on target:

"Light and air pollution prevent most people from seeing this." - Jeff


  1. The last one makes sense indeed. haha funny how few believe, but then there are a lot of scammers out there. Can't start down that photoshop path

  2. I agree with Pat...Jeff’s comment makes sense. I know, for a fact, that your photos are true. They are exactly what you see.
    Here’s wishing you and Lee Zard a wonderous 2018.


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