Capturing and showcasing the stars is a truly magical process. While I’ve attempted this technique multiple times, “Pier of Dreams,” is my first successful astrophotography image to be released. A lot of work goes into photographing and producing this type of shot and the unique conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic made for an especially rare opportunity. The combination of no boats on the water or at the buoys, very little light pollution due to the shelter in place order, and perfectly calm waters, allowed me the opportunity to showcase the Milky way in an unparalleled style.
Night photography is a time consuming process. Composing in the pitch black, focusing on tiny pinpoints of light, and capturing multiple long exposure of the stars and pier (for my stacking technique) all require a great deal of time and patience. During this process I was completely enthralled by the peaceful silence of the night, the brightness of the stars and the eerily still water gently lapping at the shoreline. My hope, as a photographer, is to embrace the moments and emotions, sharing the experience with others through my work. The sense of peace and rejuvenation I felt while I was on the pier was something I’d sorely missed. So much in fact, that I had to come back a day later and try to recreate the sense of calm I’d encountered.
With “Morning Bliss,” the second image of this pier, I embraced another technique that is somewhat new to me, a 3 min exposure using a 10 stop neutral density filter. The dreamy effect of a long exposure on the clouds and water created stunning reflections and a feeling of serenity. Once again the lack of boats, people and incredibly calm waters were a wonder to experience and capture.
While we all go through these difficult times it’s important to find what grounds you, rejuvenates you and brings you joy. Nature does that for me every single time. I hope you’re able to give it the chance to do the same for you.