« Galactic Cave

Galactic Cave

This shot has been in the planning for about 2 years or so, and I finally had a chance to try it a few days ago. A lot of things needed to come together for this to work. It had to be early in the year (at the start of “Milky Way season”) in order to even see the Milky Way from inside the cave, and I needed clear skies during the new moon when the tide was low enough to get in and out of the cave and still have enough time to try various angles and take all the shots I would need. All those things came together except for some clouds that obscured the lower part of the Galactic Center of the Milky Way, and it was bitterly cold and very windy, although it was calm inside the cave. I think the ambient temp was somewhere between 0F – 5F. I had to snowshoe down the hillside through the woods to the shore, then put on Microspikes to cross the ice covered rocks and carefully make my way over to and inside the cave. All in the dark, but with a headlamp of course.

Note that I won’t be saying exactly where this cave is located. It’s not exactly a secret, but it has been removed from guide books for good reason, it’s a fairly dangerous place and you could be swimming your way out if you’re not careful, and it houses a fragile environment in its tidepools. All the signs for the cave, and the railing that lead to the entrance, were removed many years ago to protect those inexperienced from getting injured or stranded.

You’ll notice that there’s a lot of color in the sky, there’s orange light from light pollution from towns up the coast, there’s some green from airglow, and the reddish color might also be airglow.

Nikon D800E with Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens @ 17mm. Like most of my night photos, this is a blend of multiple exposures to get the scene in focus and exposed from the foreground to the stars. Technically 13 exposures were used to create this final image. 10 exposures of 10 seconds each at ISO 6400 were used for star stacking of the sky. Those exposures wer

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