I’ve tried capturing stars and the Milky Way from within Marblehead a few times over the years but never could get the right mix of perfect conditions, a strong foreground and…aiming the camera in the right direction! Turns out the Milky Way was not quite where I had assumed and, with the naked eye, one can’t see it anyway.

In March, I headed out to Fort Beach and scouted out the location of the Milky Way over Marblehead Neck during each new moon taking place from Spring through Fall. As luck would have it, we had cloud cover in April and May and so it wasn’t until a day or two after the new moon on June 15th that I was finally able to try to capture this image.

I headed to Fort Beach around 11:30pm and used an app called Photo Pills to help me spot the otherwise invisible group of stars. With the location of the Milky Way midway over the Neck, I realized I would need to shoot a panorama in order to capture it in the composition I had in mind. Luckily this was a very calm evening and thus there was little to no movement in the boats as I captured six vertical images at 5 second exposures.

I worked on the final image for a while before I could finally see the Milky Way pop out of the night sky.