J MacDonald Photography
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Just Make Lemonade

Oh come on...You've heard the expression haven't you? "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" No? Well it basically means that one must try to make the best of situations and circumstances that aren't what you were hoping for. And that my friends is what I did last night.
  I decided yesterday that I was going to head out into the night in search of the Milkyway. I have only photographed it once before and have since been longing to try again.

My first Milkyway photo and the source of inspiration for this excursion.

So with my heart set on shooting the night sky I decided to "put out the call" for anyone who was up for a night of shooting to come along and shoot with me. And just like that I had three other photographers get ahold of me eager to go shoot!

While photography may be a "single player sport" it is often quite fun to go out in a group.
So out to a favorite location of mine we went.....And we waited until the sky grew dark, and we waited more, until it grew darker, and still we waited. But while we waited we just enjoyed each others company and talked about photography, and equipment, and travel, and all those things that photographers love.
And while we waited for that cloudy band of a trillion stars to appear we shot the night sky, we shot each other, and we just enjoyed the night.

Trying to make contact with extra terrestrials while waiting for the Milkyway to rise. This image was shot using the Olympus OM-D E-M10 which you can get a great deal on here: http://amzn.to/1pKbljp

But after about 2 1/2 hours in the dark it became apparent that this early in the year the Milkyway is just too dim to see in our area. The abundant light pollution (seen above) makes it even harder to capture. So in the end we decided to end the night with a steel wool spin... And you all know how fun those are! And as you can see from the image, we were shooting at my favorite barn :)

My favorite barn illuminated with the blaze of steel wool.

So in the end, rather than be bummed out on not getting my stellar (yes, pun intended) Milkyway photo, I simply relished in the fact that I know some fun and incredibly talented photographers who were as excited to go shoot that night as I was. We all felt that excitement each time we saw a shooting star, and had great conversation as satellites zoomed overhead, and we all actually ended up with some fantastic images.

So at 1 a.m. I got home and was glad that it was a fun time even though we didn't get to really see the Milkyway.....Or did we?

When I started processing images I notice that there, on the southern horizon where we all new it should be.....Sat the grandness of the Milkyway. It was faint, obscured by the millions of watts of man made light polluting the night skies....But it was there.

And it was there all along....Ever so faint on the southern horizon. Obscured by man's lust for light in the night.

Thank you for stopping in and having a read.
Below are some links to the gear I was using that night for those who are interested.

OM-D E-M1:  Great purchase price here.
OM-D E-M10:  Great purchase price here.
mZuiko 12mm f/2:  Great purchase price here.
Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye:  Great purchase price here.