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James

Milky Way from the beach in Devon

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Probably the last nightscapes I'll be doing until at least August now as the days are drawing in and astro-dark is nearly gone here in Devon. Not to mention the Moon!!!!

I spent a few hours on the beach at Budleigh Salterton in Devon last Thursday taking some photo's (and eating way too many biscuits). 

Here's a couple of the results - first one a 60 second tracked exposure. I've blended in a stationary shot of the beach (my first time trying that!). The second image is the centre of the Milky Way just above the southern horizon. This is a 90 second tracked image (using a Star Adventurer Mini) but I forgot to even think about the ground so the foreground isn't great.

Seriously relaxing being on an empty beach at night!!

First picture: Taken with a Canon 6D, ISO3200, 60 second exposure (I know, it didn't need ISO3200!) with a Sigma 14mm at f/1.8, Second picture, same camera, ISO 3200, 90 seconds tracked through a 24-105mm Sigma Zoom at 35mm.

I've loads of ideas for next time... but it'll be next February before the Milky Way is in the right place again!

James

MilkyWayfull.thumb.jpg.899d28afd5e672cace67029f0821bffa.jpg

 

MWcentre.thumb.jpg.c56d674ae77d83e6cb1b283e04a2b900.jpg

 

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James, 

Awesome shots - you've done well with the blended beach shot. 

I'm thinking I need to get me some of those biscuits 🍪 😂 

Ady

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A very nice pair of images.

James

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Awesome was the word that immediately sprang to my mind too ! 😲

Helen

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Thank you Helen, James, Ady :)  I'm lucky in the spring in that the south-east where the Milky Way is rising is out to sea. The nearest light pollution in the picture (apart from Sidmouth on the left which highlights the distinctive trees anyway) is 30-35 miles away in Dorset :) 

After  the summer lack of darkness the Milky Way is more on the other side of the sky and I have to contend with Exmouth, Exeter etc... or drive a long ways past Exeter, Torbay, Torquay... but not too close to Plymouth....

James

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I think that zoom lens has produced a lovely shot. Did you use the SW in alt/az mode or full on GEM ?

Jupiter is well controlled and I particularly like the reflections of it on the sea,

Dave.

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Thanks Dave, full on GEM :) 

The Jupiter reflection really does show the distortions in a wide angle lens. In reality, obviously, the reflections were beneath the planet :)

James

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Wonderful wide angle shot James, I assumed the image was taken from a small secluded beach and was surprised to see the image was taken from the door step of Exeter and Exmouth! Skies must be excellent.   Im heading down to Devon for our summer holidays in July and this was the image I had im my head that I would like to come away with.  Ive visited Devon before during the first 2 weeks in July and thought the skies were dark enough for some imaging?  If you have any recommendations for other dark sites that would be of interest, im staying just North of Exeter and happy to travel.

Anyway , both images are superb, I can see myself sitting on the beach with a pair of binoculars while the camera clicks away 😉

 

Mark

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Thank you Mark :) The beach is illuminated by the lights of Budleigh Salterton right behind me, many of those lights go off at 1.30am ish (12.30 ish in winter) - half an hour after taking that shot it was much darker. Had I looked the other way I'd have been flooded with light pollution from Budleigh, Exmouth and Exeter :( 

It's the 'public' beach but it's quiet usually at night - the occasional dog walker excepted. To the left of the image you might see a little water. Catch it at higher tide and you can get some nice photos of the water there and the trees with stars beyond. In early July it's pretty light but you should be able to get some Milky Way shots, around 1am would be best/darkest with Sagittarius just a little past due south.

I would recommend Dartmoor... but... due south from Dartmoor you get a bit of LP from Torquay/Torbay etc and to the south west you have Plymouth in the distance.. but it's all relative, I don't know what you're light pollution is like at home :)

Where I am in East Devon it's generally dark imaging anything to the east - but by July the Milky Way is slipping overhead and to the west. I'll haver a think Mark and PM you :)

James

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