One of my early discoveries during my wife Liz's and my week long winter break on Tenerife was that the south coast is not exactly a good place for taking photos of the milky way!
But on the first night of our holiday, with clear skies overhead, I took my camera gear, set up in my usual fashion for astrophotography (Canon 6D, 14mm f2.8 lens fully open, 15 seconds exposure and ISO6400) down to the rocky beach just outside our resort to see what I could capture on silicon.
I couldn't see the milky way with the naked eye, but I knew that as I was facing south, and thanks to my ever useful Stellarium app, I reckoned it should appear just to the left of centre in this composition.
Ha! Fat chance!
Reviewing the image on the back of my camera the scene was just a wash of orange light, with just a bit of detail of the rocks and waves on the foreshore at the bottom of the frame visible.
I was about to hit the delete button and go back to bed when I thought better of it, and decided instead to see how much I could usefully extract from this file later on in Adobe Lightroom, just as a technical exercise.
Back at the hotel and with Lightroom fired up on the laptop I made some extreme adjustments to the file, hoping to extract just a hint of the milky way from the background light pollution, but with very little success.
Again I was tempted to delete the file, but as I looked more intently at the screen I found the arrangement of colours and points of light in the sky, together with the details in the rocks and waves in the foreground, to be strangely attractive.
So I kept this final manipulated image.
From a technical point of view an absolute disaster, but from an artistic point of view, rather compelling - at least I think so!
Filename - tenerife nightscape abstract 01.jpg
Camera - Canon 6D
Lens - 14mm prime
Exposure - 15 secs @ f2.8, ISO6400
Filters - None
Location - Los Abrigos, Tenerife
This image - 800x533px JPEG
Conversion - Adobe Lightroom
Comments - Tripod, mirror lockup and cable release used to prevent camera movement
All content copyright © Howard Litherland 2009-2017 unless otherwise stated.