Into the Ether.

Shooting the sky is a form of photography that seems to interest only those taking the picture. Unless you are really good at it. That is especially true for a amateur such as myself. After all, we can all go outside and look at the sky. And yet, that does not stop us (or myself) from taking such pictures. Sharing a picture of the sky is almost like telling someone about a dream you had. Unless you are on Instagram.

And yet, here I am.

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And often times I fail to capture exactly what I saw in that moment. Nothing could be truer than trying to capture the moon, or more elusive still, the Milky Way. Perhaps my camera (Canon T3 [Tamron 17-50mm f2.8]) and  lens aren’t up to the task, but my location could be much better than my front yard. We have a light in our front yard on a utility pole that saturates everything I shoot with a golden hue. Unfortunately, my car hobby takes up a large share of my folding money to make any necessary camera upgrades. And I am took lazy to choose a new location.

As you can see, the tree has a golden hue to it with the cloud cover starting to move in.

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A quick attempt to take the same picture from the backyard with the house shading the lamp.

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However this [site] has some excellent tips on shooting the Milky Way. And [this] one has some nice tips on shooting the Milky Way with light pollution. Hopefully I can use the collective knowledge between them to capture our galactic neighbors. Without leaving my backyard of course. 🙂

Of course it would also help if I knew where the Milky Way was when I took this shots. As a fan of most things in space, I shamefully admit that I don’t much care for the names of stars or the constellations. The big and little dipper is about as far as I can go. After that, even my overactive imagination can’t see what our ancestors saw up there in the cosmos. It all begins to look like glowing sand in the sky. So I will be looking for help from the old and wise pocket computer.

However, Google Sky Maps hasn’t been updated since 2011 and it shows. It’s a drain on my battery and it isn’t very accurate.  So I will be on the hunt for a new star app. [Stellarium] looks promising. I might be able to use it on my Surface Pro 3 (which doubles as remote timer/LCD display) and thus justify my SP3 purchase even more. Win-win-win?

Time will tell if I can capture the elusive sand in the sky.

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