Milky Way over Anvil Island

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On Wednesday night I took another trip out to Porteau Cove Provincial Park with a friend to teach him a bit about star photography. We were originally planning on going on Tuesday evening, but the clouds that came over at sunset did not bode well for good visibility.

The forecast, while free of clouds, didn’t suggest the conditions would be particularly good, so I was expecting to be able to get star trails, but not much Milky Way detail. This just goes to show how a forecast even a few hours in advance can be completely wrong! We were able to see the Milky Way extremely clearly as soon as we got out of the car, without needing any time for our eyes to acclimatise — it was by far the clearest I’ve ever seen it at Porteau Cove.

This shot is looking south-east from the pier at Porteau Cove. This is a direction I usually don’t shoot in, because of the very heavy light pollution from Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. However, last night it was clear enough to pick up amazing Milky Way detail even in that direction.

On the far left are some lights at the Porteau Cove campsite, with the overpowering glow of Vancouver clearly outlining the hillside. The lights in the middle of the shot on the horizon are, I believe, people camping on Anvil Island. The ferry terminal gantry, which I’ve featured in other shots, is at the right of the shot.

This is a 6-photo panorama (3 columns, 2 rows), shot at 16mm, f/2.8, ISO 3200, 30 seconds.

howe sound night sky panorama
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