Jul 30, 2019

New England Milky Way Photography on Cape Cod


Visiting and photographing Cape Cod and the Islands is always a lot of fun, but unbeatable fun with Tom Gaitley, a fellow member of the New England Photography Guild. During our last visit, we stopped at Nauset Beach Light to pursue a starry night and milky way shot. Nauset Light is an iconic New England Lighthouse, located in the town of Eastham near Coastguard Beach along the National Seashore. 

After arrival on location at about 10 pm, we immediately started scouting for interesting compositions of the lighthouse with the milky way location in mind. After a few test shots at high ISO settings to finalize focus and composition, I dialed in my initial camera settings. While patiently waiting for the milky way to rise into the desired position, I took multiple test shots, making adjustments and working my way towards the final milky way camera settings. Blowing out the night sky milky way and the bright Fresnel was a major concern, so I used a piece of paper that I positioned in front of my lens periodically during the long exposure time. Covering the lens with a cloth, your hand or a piece of paper allows less light in certain areas of the night sky and for more contrast between sky and milky way. Tom taught me that trick while on this iconic Massachusetts lighthouse location and I wouldn't have gotten away with this image if he hadn't. So many thanks to him, and also to spark my inspiration and desire to capture more night milky way photography images in the future. The final camera settings were f/2.8, 25 seconds at ISO1600. 

Back home, I post-processed the final image Milky Way over Nausett Light in lightroom and photoshop which may a topic for a future blog post.

Good light and happy photo making!

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