The Blue Mountains

After having finished work at 7am on Saturday morning I spent most of the day sleeping, in the back of my mind I knew tonight was going to be special. The weather forecast was clear and it was going to be cold, very cold i.e. 1 degree celcius and for Australian standards that’s cold!

The cold means that my cameras sensor won’t heat up too much during tonight’s session thus reducing the redness grain that long exposure night photography often suffers.

My camera settings vary in focal length, exposure time, ISO sensitivity and f/stops, the key is to take several exposures of the scene you wish to capture and play around with these settings until you’re happy with the result on the LCD screen on the back of your camera.

The moon didn’t set for a few hours after darkness, but when it did that’s when the fun began and the Milky Way started to shine. I stopped in the historic convict town of Hartley now mostly abandoned and found this small cottage with a lovely chimney pointing at the Milky Way.

The orange glow on the chimney was made with my lighter.

The next photograph is just around the back of the cottage with the chimney.

After taking several exposures I noticed the reflection of the sky on the window to the right. I repositioned the camera to fit the window and some of the Milky Way.


Also an optical phenomenon which is apparent here (that I’ve have never captured before) is the ‘Airglow’ seen as a green hue in the sky, not to be mistaken for an aurora (I wish!).

 

Happy with what I was seeing on the back of my camera, I quickly packed up and moved on to the Jenolan caves, a wonderful place to visit with daily tours of the many caves and lots of bush walking trails.

On the way I saw Wombats, Kangaroos and their smaller cousins the Wallabie. Although it was another 50km drive to the caves I didn’t mind taking it slow in order to avoid hitting these beautiful creatures, in turn I saw many and sometimes stopped to say ‘hi’.

 

This grand arch in is called The Arch in Devil’s Coach House, a vast open-ended chamber in the Jenolan caves.

This was pretty much the shot I’d been wanting to take all night, the Milky Way was positioned just where I wanted it, I couldn’t have asked for more, simply pure dumb luck on my behalf.

 

 

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