I got a few funny looks and a few mutterings of “you’re crazy” when I told people that I’d hiked up Rough Tor at 3am to make a photograph! However, if there’s a shot you want to get then I’ve learnt that you have to get on and do it because the right conditions don’t come along very often.
To capture the Milky Way I needed a dark night with the moon below the horizon, along with clear skies that are relatively rare on Bodmin Moor, which attracts the fog and mist around the many tor’s! So after checking the forecast for a clear night and using my PhotoPills app to check that it was a moon-less night, I set my alarm for 2:15am!
When I arrived at the car park it struck me how dark it can be on a moon-less night in the middle of Bodmin Moor! As good as my torch is, it was a little bit of guesswork to make sure I walked towards the top of the tor. On my journey I spooked a few sheep and wild horses, and wrestled the Beast of Bodmin Moor to the ground before sending him on his way! 😉
After changing direction a few times I finally reached the top of Rough Tor only to find that I was surrounded by fog, hovering over the peak and into the valley to the east (the direction I’d be shooting!). Fortunately it wasn’t too thick and although it would have a negative impact on the final image, I still thought I could capture the Milky Way. Also, I’d not hiked up there in the pitch black for nothing!
After a few test shots, I took 6 panoramic shots each exposed for the sky, taken at 14mm, f/2.8, 20s, ISO 6400, and 6 panoramic shots each exposed for the foreground, taken at 14mm, f/2.8, 180s, ISO 2000. This gave me 12 different exposures to stitch in post processing to form the Milky Way arching through the final panoramic image.
I hope you enjoy the final image and I look forward to expanding my Nightscapes Gallery over the coming summer months.