Silver Machine, Central Coast, NSW
My family and I started visiting Maitland Bay close to 20 years ago. I had recalled an overlook part the way down that looked out to the cliffs and sea. I thought it would make for a good Astro shot. So I drove out, and found the lookout on a clear night in Sydney. Rule #1 of Astro, the clouds where you end up will be different to the clouds where you left from. It was a complete disaster, clouds on high, what I remembered from all those years ago yielded no real view, and to cap it off, I took some well-out-of-focus images.
Next step – we did a recce in daylight in summer, and found a couple of spots that might work.
So off I went on the night in question (just at the end of the first lockdown) – and found the track. I had no idea where any track turnoffs were. This in the pitch black, almost stygian darkness, under the trees with only a head torch. The head torch then faded and died (and it is USB not battery!). So all I was left with a (fully charged, thankfully) phone.
For once, I took my time. I went for around 20 images for the sky, and 3 or so for the foreground. All to reduce noise. I stacked the sky in Sequator, and used PS to stack the foreground. Then lots of spicing up with contrast masks, and a glass or so of Orton. Always washes it all down nicely. This is about the fourth attempt at processing over many, many, months. Worth it to get an image I can put here on my website shop – many, many, astro photos don’t cut it. The joys of perfection of Landscape Photography!
Canon EOS5D Mk III ~ Samyang 24 ~ F2.8 ~ ISO 3200~ 20 images stacked at 20secs for sky, 3 stacked at 30 secs for foreground