Adding a familiar foreground element when photographing the Milky Way is a common practice. This adds context while giving a sense of scale. In most cases, photographers end up using a landscape or some abandoned building as the foreground which makes the image seem a little cliché. So, photographer Gary Cummins tried something different and ended up with the following image. The result is truly mesmerizing:
You’d be forgiven if you thought that the image is a result of a single long exposure. In reality, it’s a composite of many different elements. The sky alone is a composite of 3 images, each exposed for 90 seconds at f/2.8 and ISO 800. He used the iOptron sky tracker to track the stars during the course of the exposure. The foreground is an exposure of 180 seconds that he took at f/2.8 and ISO 1200. And as for the car light trails, it’s composed of 4 images each exposed for 30 seconds at f/9 and ISO 100. He shot all the images using his Nikon D850 and Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens. Interestingly, the car trails that you can see are from the car that Cummins drove by himself. Talk about dedication.
The blend of white and red lights in the foreground forming a hairpin curve immediately grab our attention, drawing us right into the image. Then there’s the hazy city in the mid-ground which seems to seamlessly blend with the Milky Way on the horizon. And the way he has placed the curvy section of the road and the arm of the Milky Way – both of them balance out each other beautifully.
It’s quite evident from this image that Cummins’s creativity is of the next level. The pre-visualization and the effort that he put in to transform it into reality is truly praiseworthy.
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