The Most of Time.
This is a really poignant image to post – even after one year one has passed. I had walked to a spot close to this one month earlier, and had achieved good results. However – and this is always the case with Astro – just a few clouds had arrived whilst I was shooting. This meant a full 180 plus degree pano was not an option. So I wanted to reshoot, but it was a weeknight and quite late. Whilst not cold, I needed jeans, jumper and jacket on to keep the chills at bay. You sit still for long periods to take images like this.
It was so easy just to sit indoors, and an early night means more rest before work the next day. However, I opened the curtains and looked out to see a completely clear evening sky. I said to my son something along the lines of ‘well I have no excuse not to go out, now do I?’
And so, maybe even somewhat reluctantly, off I went. I drove for only a few minutes, parked up, loaded up backpack, tripod, and crashed through the bush, twigs and branches reminding me they live here too. Spiders happily built their reminders too.
I finally arrived at the area where the escarpment was, and in the pitch black, even with a head torch and having been there two or three times before, could not find the area I was after. So, I set up where I was, and made sure the tripod was level… not too easy on a sloping rock. I was also trying out some new multi focal glasses, which I found out right then made my head spin. All very safe! I stayed just long enough to take two panoramas. (I was very pleased that I did as one was not useable, it would not stitch). The final image is literally more than 180 degrees field of view.
A couple more single images, and I walked back through the dense bush home, and sat back in the warm for a few minutes then hit bed. I had, at least, made the effort to get out and maybe had got some results. This final panorama shows the Milky Way high above Berowra Waters Marina, with Berowra Waters snaking to the north and south in one image, due to field of view.
The next morning……. a real ‘carpe diem’ moment. I checked onto Facebook over breakfast and received a very sad update. A old friend from school in England who was suddenly, and very, ill in hospital had essentially posted his last farewells online from his hospital bed. It was beautifully written, and the essence of it was to make the most of our time. He passed away peacefully some days later. I was both gutted and also realised that the previous night I had indeed gone out, made the most of that night, and come back with this image.
It has taken many, many, months for me to feel able to write this story, and to post this image. This is not exactly one year ago – however, it is twelve moon cycles ago. This one is for you, Alan.