The Milky Way

Thank you Mattias for giving me the opportunity to tell you about my photography again. If you want to see more of my photos, you can find me on instagram @fotograf_lasse_andersson

In my previous post I told about macro photography of insects and this time I thought I would talk about something bigger, namely the Milky Way or more precisely the Milky Way band that we see in the night sky. The Milky Way is our galaxy and it is huge. It is said that the Milky Way is about 100,000 light-years in diameter and some claim that it is significantly larger than that. Regardless, it is significantly larger than the dragonflies I showed in my previous post

Many people think it's sad when autumn approaches and it gets darker earlier in the evenings, but I do not think so. Because that is when the season for photographing the night sky begins. In southern Sweden, where I live, it is possible to take photos of the Milky Way band from the beginning of August to the beginning of May. It will be dark enough to photograph it about two hours after sunset.

There are several different ways to photograph the Milky Way band and here I am going to tell you about how I have chosen to take my pictures of it. I use my regular camera and a Canon 14 mm f1.8 lens when I capture the Milky Way. I usually set the ISO to 6400 and the shutter speed is around 20 seconds.

The Milky Way is made up of billions of stars and when you go out on a dark night and look up at the sky, you can see the Milky Way. Unfortunately, there is a lot of light pollution which makes it difficult to see the Milky Way band clearly. When we were on Svalbard we heard about New York nests that had become completely fascinated by how clearly the stars are visible when you get away from the city's light pollution 🌟 But you do not have to go to Svalbard because even in our elongated country there are places that are more or less light-polluted.

My interest in photographing the night sky was aroused a couple of years ago. In the beginning, I had the astronomical calendar to my aid to see how the Milky Way band stands at different dates and times. There is also the phase of the moon and the rising and setting of the moon in it. I also downloaded the Dark Sky Map app to see where there is the least light pollution. Two other apps that I think are useful are Star tracker and Star walk 2. I can recommend that you have a good headlamp that can be switched to red so you do not get dazzled. 

When I know how the Milky Way band is, that the moon is not up and that there is not much light pollution in the direction I am going to photograph, it is important that the forces of the weather are with one. A little haze cloud can be effective in the picture but it must not be too much cloud.

It is important to find a good place with something that can be a good foreground to the Milky Way band, Then it is to put the camera on the tripod and point the camera at the starry sky. When I focus on the Milky Way, I use Live view on the camera and focus manually. Then just take a picture :)

Hope I managed to arouse your interest in photographing our night sky 💫

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