Capturing a Galaxy

Milky Way Oahu Hawaii East Side Blow Hole Astrophotrography photography Nikon

After months of trial and error I finally captured the cleanest shot of the milky way I’ve ever gotten.  This might be relatively unimpressive to many of you as a simple google search for the Milky way will turn up hundreds of beautifully rendered images of our milky way.  However for me, these shots were the product of quite a bit of work.


If you have read through the rest of my blog then you know the struggle I’ve experienced attempting to capture the milky way, and my analogical star wars.


My wife and I were returning home from a party on the roof top of a buddy’s house in Kailua. She had fallen asleep and I had all my camera equipment in the car, so I decided to take the scenic route home with a little (actually it was pretty long) detour around the East side of Oahu.

Milky Way Oahu Hawaii East Side Blow Hole Astrophotrography photography Nikon

I had checked my Stellarium app and seen that the Milky Way was meant to rise in the East around 11pm. So this was the perfect opportunity.  I went straight o Makapu’u lighthouse to capture a few shots, but the cloud cover was ridiculous there and really frustrating.  Shot after shot would only reveal small glimpses of the glowing starry dust, which is our galaxy.  The above shot was taken moment after I drove away from the lighthouse.  I noticed a break in the cloud cover, so I immediately pulled over on the side of Kamehameha highway and shot this.

Milky Way Oahu Hawaii Blow Hole Astrophotrography photography Nikon

This final shot was my favorite of the night. For starters I actually got the horizon straight. I also was able to fit in the cliffs and waves.  I’m sure practice will help me come up with some more inspirational composition.  This shot was taken with nikon d5300 at 20sec, ISO 1600, f/2.8 with an 11-16mm tokina at 11mm. My only photo editing software is iPhoto, which came with my computer.  I’m gonna try to get my hands on Lightroom. Perhaps I will reupload these shots once I have a decent post editing software for comparison.

Please feel free to give me advice and critic the pictures.  I really would like to get better.

0 thoughts on “Capturing a Galaxy

  1. underswansea May 24, 2015 / 12:02 am

    Wonderful photos! Being closer to the equator you can see more of The Milky Way than we can in Canada. It looks like you are in a lovely spot for night photography. I have the feeling, in the near future, you are going to be getting the exact photos you want. Take care.

    • sunshinehawaii May 24, 2015 / 6:50 am

      Thank you so much. I try to get out there as much as I can. This past few moonless nights have been great, but the trade winds keep bringing a blockade of clouds

  2. Bespoke Traveler June 18, 2015 / 8:22 pm

    Happy to see your hard work paid off so well! While it must have been frustrating to have all that cloud cover, the red-tinged clouds add a beautiful effect to you capture of the Milky Way.

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