I shot this photo of Comet NEOWISE from my front yard in Central Jersey at 9:46pm on July 19th. I took several exposures of varying shutter speeds to see what would work best, eventually settling on this ten-second exposure. It turned out pretty well considering we don’t exactly have the darkest skies.
I also thought it would be neat to make a time-lapse animated gif of all the photos I took that night. This animation demonstrates the movement of the comet through the sky over a 7-minute time span. The difference in quality between frames is attributable to the aforementioned differences in shutter speeds.
The night skies over the Canadian maritime provinces are spectacular, particularly in the remote areas where these two photos were shot–the skies are packed with far more stars than most of us are used to seeing on a regular basis. Although my astrophotography remains a work in progress, I feel like these are definitely an improvement over some of my earlier efforts.
The first photo was taken outside of the inn where I stayed on Prince Edward Island. In setting the building against the night sky I tried to capture the remoteness of the inn, which is located by itself out on a cliff overlooking the sea. I always feel weird going outside for night photography, setting up the tripod and everything while people are wondering what I’m doing out there. The women in one of the downstairs rooms kept looking out the window–I think they thought I was up to something nefarious. 🙂
The second photo of the Milky Way was taken outside my cabin on Cape Breton Island.
If you are staying in Letchworth State Park, a nighttime venture away from the populated areas will allow you to view a sky filled with infinitely more stars than most of us ever see around our hometowns. The first photo was taken at Inspiration Point, from where you can get a great view of the illuminated Middle Falls in the distance with the night sky overhead. For the second photo I just pointed my camera up at a sky so clear that you can even make out a bit of the Milky Way.
The night sky over Yosemite is amazing. If you live in an area with high light pollution as most of us do, you likely have never seen a sky like this. There are so many stars that you feel like you’re standing on a different planet. I was actually able to see the Milky Way, as well as several shooting stars.
I didn’t have the proper equipment with me for taking high-quality night photos but this shot will give you some idea of what it looked like outside my cabin. I wish my stay had been longer so I could have ventured down into Yosemite Valley one night for even better views, but that gives me something to look forward to when I return one day.