Interesting Photo of the Day: The Milky Way Over Acadia National Park

Stargazing makes us realize that we’re a just tiny part of this amazing universe. However, photographing the Milky Way is not an easy feat. There are certain technicalities involved in the process. Photographer Colin Zwirner took this photo at Acadia National Park in Maine and explains how he achieved it:

milky way rising in Acadia National Park

“Milky Way rising in Acadia National Park, Maine” by Colin Zwirner (Via Reddit. Click image to see full size.)

Zwirner took the shot using his Nikon D810 camera and Nikon 14–28mm f/2.8 lens. He took a vertical panorama of two photos for the foreground, each exposed for 30 seconds at f/11 and ISO 200. He then exposed the sky for 6 minutes at f/2.8 and ISO 320.

A 6-minute exposure meant that Zeirner would not have been able to capture the image without star trails. He thus used a sky tracker to track the stars. Further, he took the image of the Milky Way from a different location to avoid blurry trees while tracking. He then made a composite of the foreground and the background images.

“This is a blue hour blend. 2 photos for the foreground, one tracked shot from an unobstructed location for the background. Reasoning: Blue hour gives the best type of dynamic and soft light that ends up [complementing] the milky way scene. If I was to track from this location, the sky exposure would have widened and blurred trees which would make the blend impossible.”

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