The final night of the NxNW2015 expedition to the Palouse found us at the Weber House near Pullman. For those that follow my blog you will remember that I have already shared an image from the Weber House.
We started the evening off shooting the sunset, then moved on to light painting and finally finished with some astro photography. It was the first time that some in our group had ever tried to shoot the milky way, and even though it was still early enough in the year that it was still low on the horizon it still put on a show for us. It was also the first time I was trying to shoot the milky way with my then new Sony a6000 and Sony 10-18 f4 lens. I was pretty sure that the a6000 would perform well, I just wasn’t sure about the lens, I generally like to have a lens that opens wider than f4 for shooting the stars and the night sky.
During one of my first exposures of the milky way we were graced with a falling star (fireball), it was incredibly bright and while I can’t speak for the rest of the group, just seeing something like that is a real treat, let alone photographing it. Of the 10 of us shooting that night I believe that 4 of us actually captured it.
Unfortunately for me, it was at the very end of a fairly long exposure shot. I really didn’t want to keep my shutter open any longer than I already had or the star trails were going to extend further than they already had and I didn’t want that. I had planned all along to do a little light painting during a milky way shot but the shot that actually captured the falling star was during what I thought was going to be an early text exposure. Now I was in a position where I had the falling star in the night sky but nothing on the ground of any interest so I did the only think that I could think of doing. I asked all of my fellow shooters to let me know when I could paint some light on the scene, I didn’t want to mess up any of their exposures, and when it was all clear I did another shot and put some light from a flash light onto the ground.
This left me with 2 exposures, one of an amazing falling star, the other of the Weber House lit by a flash light. All that was left to do was combine them in post and the result is the image above.
Oh yeah, how did the Sony 10-18 do with astro photography? It did ok but I still prefer to have a lens that opens wider than f4. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the 10-18 but I have since added the Rokinon 12mm f2 to my kit.