Night Shift …

The old plough had been sitting in one corner of the farm for so long that the wheels had sunk into the ground. The two hardest parts to getting this shot were moving the plough to this position and getting out of bed at 3am.

The bright object to the left of the Milky Way is Jupiter. Saturn is also visible but much less obvious. It’s lower in the sky just to the right of the Milky Way. The brightest object out to the right is a double star named Peacock which is 3328.13 light years away. I know this only because of Stellarium which is a wonderful bit of free software well worth checking out.

The Milky Way …

YouTube is a remarkable resource. As well as how to poach eggs in the microwave I have learnt from and been inspired by some excellent photographers. One of the things that I’ve noticed is that all the good English landscape photographers have north country accents. One of the best bits of advice in landscape photography is stand in front of a better landscape and the north of England is blessed in that regard. Once you’re hooked it’s not an insuperable effort to go further afield.

Richard Tatti is a local not a pom, he lives not far from me and he also plays to his strength. Not landscapes but nightscapes. He is well worth checking out <HERE> or find him on YouTube or Instagram.

In many places light pollution makes the stars hard to see. I live 15km from the nearest town which in any case is not very large. Just walking out my door at night is all it takes if the sky is clear. You can see the glow of Maryborough in the lower right corners of both today’s photos.

The Milky Way season is upon us. The galactic core is not visible in the middle of the Australian summer but we can now find it in the east in the early morning. As the season progresses it will move through the south becoming higher and visible for more of the night before shifting to the west and becoming an after sunset phenomenon.

So here’s my favourite tree again …

You can now check me out on instagram click <HERE>

The Fergie …

The tractor is a 1953 UK built Massey Ferguson TO30 and it’s parked just a few yards from my back door. It was a clear sky last night and there was a smallish window between the Milky Way making its appearance and moon rise. I set up the camera, worked out my lighting and went to bed with the alarm set for 2.45 am.

I think it was worth it …

The bright “star” tucked in the left side of the Milky Way is the planet Jupiter.

Distant pizza …

From where I live it’s a 30 km round trip for a takeaway pizza.

This has some advantages.  For one thing you learn to make your own pizzas and they knock the insipid shop bought ones for six. Among the other advantages is the night sky. A clear night is a numinous experience.

Sunset last night was at 5.30 and the moon would not be up until a little after 8. I drove up to a higher point not far from home hoping to get a photo with the milky way springing up brightly straight from the horizon. That wasn’t going to happen, the glow of the lights from Maryborough and Avoca, each about 15 km away, some smoke haze and a little cloud all conspired to make the horizon very soft. Overhead though was pretty good.

That the stars had coalesced into a large R was very exciting but not enough to enliven the composition. Fortunately, I had a foreground element with me which could be made visible by judiciously washing over it with my headlamp …

Improving but the action is really higher in the sky. Home again to my trusty windmill …

I love my windmill. When the wind blows it pumps water from an underground aquifer into my dam. Sadly the water is too salty to use for irrigation but stock could drink it. Perhaps I should get some stock. The dam doesn’t hold water very well. I like to think that it leaks back into the aquifer. My very own hydrological cycle and so immensely aesthetic.

By which time the moon could wait no longer. One day I will get a milky way photo that I can be proud of. For now I’ll settle for a moonrise …