California Central Coast Milky Way Shot and Video

“Coastal Milky Way”

Usually the lights from the coastal towns can distracting, but I decided to emphasize them with the light trails. I think it adds a sense of place.

I find this spot on the central coast of California to be especially interesting, but that doesn’t make it photogenic. A composition has eluded me even though I keep going back over and over. I decided this time to try a Milky Way shot.

See below for a video showing my visualization of the shot and taking the shot at around 10pm at night. Photography isn’t about just showing up at a place and hoping to get lucky with some good shots. There is a process to it and takes planning.

But, there still is an element of luck. All the planning might be a waste if the shot you visualized isn’t there. For example, there were some low level clouds that were rising and I feared they might eventually block the Milky Way. It turned out they remained low and actually helped tame the glow from the nearby towns.

In addition to my sketching and taking the shot, the video also shows how the area looks in daylight.

Visualizing the shot. (There is no audio in this video)