An urban lifestyle does offer a lot of perks. But sadly, it has taken away some of the most beautiful things that nature has to offer – dark skies being one of them. Dark skies provide an absolutely beautiful view of the brilliant stars. Luckily, there still are a good number of dark zones around the world from where we can enjoy the ethereal view. When astrophotographer Andreas Jones was around Lake Pukaki in New Zealand, he came across one of the darkest skies he’d seen and took the following astounding image:
For the foreground Jones took 5 separate images each at a 600-second exposure, f/4, and ISO 600 with his Nikon D850 and Nikkor 50mm lens. As for the sky, it’s a two-panel panorama, each panel consisting of 10 stacked shots each taken at a 150-second exposure, f/4 and ISO 1000 taken with Nikon D850 and Nikkor 50mm lens. To avoid any star trails, he used the iOptron Skytracker Pro.
What’s really interesting about the image is how Jones has lined up the mountains in the foreground with the Milky Way. It almost looks like the stars are blasting off of a volcano. The magnitude of colors is truly surreal. It’s really interesting how something that appears simply black and white to our unaided eyes can pack so much vibrance. Imagine how cool it would be if we could see all that without special lenses.
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