The new moon is upon us, which means prime astro-photography opportunities. I checked the weather as the sun faded under the horizon and decided to take a drive to Itasca State Park, as it is the darkest sky near me , to see if I could photograph the Milky Way. The best time to see it was just after Midnight for roughly 2 hours before the center also fell to the horizon. I arrived around 11:40 in order to have time to setup my gear and begin shooting. Things were looking great until about 12:30am, when wispy clouds started showing in my 2 minute exposures. By 12:45 a cloud bank had blocked the entire Milky Way.
Fortunately, the clouds were not solid, and were moving at a decent speed. I took the chance to try some long exposure imaging anyway, as I need practice with the equatorial mount anyway. The last shot of the night seemed like Mother Nature’s way of apologizing, as I opted to include some foreground in the image.
The foreground was lit by 2 dim street lamps from the parking lot across the street and back a way from where I parked. Exposure is 30 second, f/4 @ ISO6400.