The Frozen River of Time
The Frozen River of Time
It had been 3 long months since I had seen the galactic heart of our Milky Way Galaxy. It disappears from view between the months of November to January, and reappears in February. Three months of planning, studying new techniques, researching locations.
I studied the weather maps every day, waiting for a clearing in the sky to capture the Northern Lights. Aurora storms came and went and still no break in the cloud cover. Finally I noticed a chance for a clear sky and that the Milky Way would be visible for a few moments before dawn. This was it, everything was coming together.
Searching the map I came to the County G bridge over the Eau Claire River in Eau Claire County, just north of Augusta, Wisconsin. Angling ever so slightly to the south east I studied the movement of the heart of our galaxy. There was a chance that the core would rise just above the center of the river. I had no idea if the angles matched up but I had to give it a go.
I awoke at 4 am and prepped my gear. Heading out the temperature was -4, and with a slight wind my phone said it felt like -16 degrees. A half hour out of town I made it to my location. Stepping out of the car you could feel just how cold it really was. The sky was crystal clear and the stars shined brightly. I set up my gear and made my way to the bridge.
As I stood there you could hear the ice cracking, the tree’s popping, and the old rail bridge behind me sending off a loud twang in the night. It was cold, very cold. Looking east I watched as the core came into view. This is what I had been waiting for for 3 months. Pouring over maps, studying the movement of the galaxy and the weather conditions, waiting for that perfect clear night to reveal the secrets of the night.
At about quarter to 5 am the Milky Way rose to the position I had visioned. Pressing the shutter the sensor of my camera captured the light that took over 25,000 years to reach it. With a bit of a pre dawn glow the sky took on a purplish glow just over the horizon. Giving a magical feel to the scene.
A few moments later the scene vanished and the blue hour took over the sky. As I got back to my car I discovered it wouldn’t start. With temps hovering around -4 I called for a tow truck. Luckily a passer by stopped to help me jump my car. Waking up at 4 am and getting stuck for an extra half hour in the cold was all worthwhile when I look at this shot. It’s my high. Being able to put myself in the right place at the right time. It’s what I live for.
Camera: NIKON D800E
Lens: 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 24mm
Shutter Speed: 25sec
#Galaxy #Stars #Nightscape #Astrophotography http://ift.tt/1KG146B