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.
I captured this astrophotograph near Point View Breaker Bay. Taken at about 10pm at night in early December. With some clouds in the sky, I’d wondered if the camera would capture any stars. With a 15 second long exposure time, the camera captured thousands of stars I couldn’t see with my eyes. The bright star on the left is Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. The one in the upper middle is Canopus, the second brightest.
Camping at Haldane Bay, east of Slope Point I was lucky enough to be treated to a clear night sky. After a couple of cloudy nights, this was a real treat. Especially as it was my first astrophotography shot with a new camera and lens. Antares is the bright star at the top of the Milky Way. I had assumed that the bright light reflecting on the bay was Mars but my friend James informs me this is Jupiter. The camera settings were a 30-second exposure on a 14mm f/2.8 lens at ISO 6400 on the Sony A7iii camera.
Cities aren’t usually the best place to clearly see the stars of the night sky due to the light pollution. As far as capital cities go, Wellington, New Zealand is one of the clearest in the world. For this photograph, we still drove about an hour out of the city centre into the hills of Pakuratahi Forest. There was no moon so it was incredibly dark. I know next to nothing about the stars. Fortunately my friend James does. He informs me we are looking at two Magellanic clouds in the Large (LMC) and the small (SMC). They are dwarf galaxies outside the Milky Way. 150,000 light years away. You can’t see them from the northern hemisphere.