milky way at Cape May beach

[Archive] Cape May Point night photography with Pentax K-1

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I was waiting for a clear summer day with no moon over the Cape May Point beach for a while. This day finally came. 

I am a bit greedy today when I decided to include sunset shots into my schedule. The usual 1h40min drive to the beach took me more than two hours due to heavy traffic. The golden light on the way made me want to sit on the passenger seat so that I could snap some beautiful houses I passed by. Unfortunately I am alone today. Sounds like my girlfriend knows how to drive. 

The burning clouds sent me warm welcome when I arrived at the Cape May Point Lighthouse. I tried to look for different views to what I used to shoot here. 


After this shot I went on to find my shot on the beach. The clouds were amazing so I decided that I need to make the lighthouse smaller in the picture, to show you the magnificence of the cloudscape. 

I didn’t forget my Pentax K-1. It is perfet for the standard shots of the lighthouse under the cloud. 

The beach is as beautiful as it has always been. I can see the crescent moon dropping toward the horizon — a count down to my night shot.

After the blue hour, I went back to my car to have some quick food and a short nap. 

The night sky didn’t disappoint me. 

After I did this quick shot with my NX500 + Samyang 12mm F2 lens. I tested out my FA 50mm F1.4 with my K-1. Anyone with a bit of knowledge about shooting the milky way can tell that 50mm isn’t good for this job because the relatively long focal length magnifies the movement of stars thus, in order to get sharp stars without trails, faster shutter speed/higher ISO will be needed hence more noise in the picture. However, the Astrotracer function of the K-1 uses the GPS information to calculate the movement of earth/stars, and then rotate the image sensor during the exposure to compensate such movement, making longer exposure with lower ISO possible. I was able to get this F2.8 60s ISO 800 picture of the galaxies. 

You can see how much details it captured when zooming in this picture. 

I would happily use this photo as a desktop wallpaper.

This dead horseshoe crab suddenly reminded me of the space and time.

Of course, shooting the night sky alone wouldn’t be complete without a self portrait with the stars!

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