I never thought I would be able to capture the Milky Way over Marblehead. With our proximity to Boston and the amount of light pollution in the night sky, shooting the Milky Way seemed to be a task reserved for photographers in Maine or the Cape. However, after seeing some truly awesome images from last month’s new moon of the Milky Way and with perfect conditions on Friday night/Saturday morning, I figured I would give it a shot.
The first stop was borrowing the right lens for the task and I could not have picked a better person to reach out to than Rick Ashley. Within a few hours of texting him, I had the lens in hand and had a chance to see his new studio layout and check out some of his incredible work. With that taken care of, I caught some sleep and set the alarm for 2:30am.
I woke 1 minute before the alarm and headed out to Fort Sewall. I had an image in mind of the Milky Way over Marblehead Light and figured the angles would only work from the edge of Fort Sewall. I started shooting from Fort Beach and then on a few stops towards the entrance to the Fort. Finally at 3:30am, I arrived at this spot. I lowered the tripod until it was just above the ground and composed this image to include the scope and benches in the foreground leading towards Marblehead harbor, the green glow of Marblehead Light and the night sky with the Milky Way overhead. It took just two tries before I was able to capture this image.
At home, I caught up on some sleep and then got to work on the image. It took a few tricks to tease out the Milky Way given the larger than expected impact of light pollution. When all was said and done, I was thrilled with the way the image came out. It was only last month that I captured the Aurora Borealis and now was able to also photograph the Milky Way – all without having to leave the town of Marblehead, Massachusetts.