Milky Way above the Church of the Good Shepherd

This is one of my best photographs of the Milky Way and the church in the foreground makes it all the more special. Yet, I still have unfinished photographic business on the shores of Lake Tekapo. Especially when it comes to better astrophotography, landscapes at night and the Church of the Good Shepherd. My vision for this location is a higher up view with a wide lens. Combining my previous Lake Tekapo with Church of the Good Shepherd photograph. Where you can see the lake behind the church with this photograph of the stars above. This would probably be taken from the MacLaren Footbridge. I tried that on this night but the wind made it impossible to get a sharp enough photograph of the church or a long enough exposure to capture the Milky Way. I could use Photoshop to combine the two images but I would rather capture the one photograph in the camera. That will have to wait for another visit to the beautiful Mackenzie country.

MacLaren Footbridge Lake Tekapo

Opened in 2015, the MacLaren footbridge connects the Lake Tekapo township with the Church of the Good Shepherd. It is 125 metres long but only a couple of metres wide. It makes it much safer and quicker for pedestrians to walk between the township and the church, rather than having to walk along side State Highway 8. The bridge crossed the Tekapo River from Lake George Scott Pond to the left. The river opens up into Lake Tekapo to the right of the bridge. From this angle the township is on the other side of the bridge. We can see some of the lights from a couple of the local bars and restaurants. The straight red lines on the left, behind the bridge are from cars driving over the nearby Lake Tekapo Bridge, part of State Highway 8.

Church of the Good Shepherd Lake Tekapo

I first visited Tekapo about 8 years ago. Ever since I’ve wanted to go back in winter. It often snows in the area during this season, as it did on our second day. Typically night and astrophotography is better during winter when the milkyway is visible. The last couple of times I’ve visited Tekapo were in the summer when there were hundreds of tourists surrounding the church. On this evening I had the place to myself. What doesn’t come across in the photograph was how windy it was. Even with the camera on a tripod many of the photographs were blurred due to the hallowing winds coming off the lake. This photograph was taken after sunset so there was still a little light in the sky. It was still a relatively long exposure of 1.6 seconds.

Blood Moon 2021

Super Flower Blood Moon was the only total lunar eclipse of 2021. This was captured on the evening of 27 May 2021. A friend invited me to the south coast to photograph the blood moon without the light pollution of the city. I ended up staying home. This was taken from my apartment balcony in the centre of Wellington. Using a tripod and the lens zoomed in to 240mm. The camera settings for this ended up being a 2 second exposure at f8 with ISO 1600. The moon isn’t a subject I photograph often, as it has some photographic challenges. It is a very bright subject on a very dark background. Lunar eclipses are a little easier in some ways as the moon is darker, due the Earth’s shadow. You can read more about this from Space.com’s Super Flower Blood Moon 2021 article.