The Milky Way over Lough Gill – Sligo

The Milky Way over Lough Gill

Hello fellow photographers! This time I tried my hand at one of the most fascinating fields in photography, in my opinion. It is also a field that requires a lot of commitment and experience, while I’m just a rookie. Night photography has the charm of bringing into view the unseen, it allows to capture through our lens and sensors something that is not visible to the naked eye. Of course, after the image is captured, post processing and editing will help emphasizing those elements that our eyes couldn’t see, and give to the composition a final ethereal touch.

In this case, the “unseen” I have tried to emphasize is the core of our galaxy, the Milky Way. To capture it a combination of factors is required: a dark night with possibly no moon or new moon, a place far from light pollution of urban centres, and a clear sky. The centre of the galaxy is not always above the horizon though, therefore you need to check when it rises and sets on one of the many apps for astrophotography.

Finally, a decent camera and a lens with a very wide aperture are a huge help in capturing the dim light of most distant stars during an exposure short enough to prevent the “trail effect” due to Earth’s rotation..

Yeah, as you can imagine, ideal conditions are not there every day, that’s why my alarm was set at 4 AM last night, to allow me to reach my location and try to capture as much as possible of our galaxy in its best moment, in one of the rare nights with a clear sky here in the west coast of Ireland.

I hope you enjoy the image and I would love to hear your advice before my next attempt to capture the stars.

Location: Lough Gill, County Sligo, Ireland.

What to shoot: From Hazelwood you can enjoy a nice view of the lake, surrounded by trees on both side, facing the hills. When the tide is low, surfacing rocks are a good element to add interest to the foreground.

Ideal time to shoot: Sunrise and nights.

Gear: Wide angles to Standard zooms.

Coordinates: 54.257863, -8.426491

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