After the flood waters from Harvey receded, I went camping with the girl I was dating's family. It was the first trip I went on with them. To be fair, this was not true camping in the sense that I know it as, being backpacking in. This was "glamping," or glamor camping, with a fifth wheel RV.
After experiencing that trip, I have been on three others with them, often with my camera packed with me. One night while in Martin Dies, Jr. State Park outside of Jasper, TX we were watching the Astros defeat the Yankees in the 2017 MLB playoffs. I looked to the sky and could faintly see that cosmic cloud that you see so many Milky Way pictures comprised of. Later that night I got my camera out, mounted it on my tripod, and pointed it to the stars not having a clue how to begin.
I had done a lot of research to figure out what settings and equipment I needed with no success. So, being the photographer I am, I entered experimental mode and started trying new things. I love this process of learning when it comes to learning new things about photography, so long as a client is not in front of you. I finally started to figure out my formula.
I was shooting on my Canon EOS 6D with my Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM and using my Vello Wireless Shutter Boss to shoot long exposure bulb setting as I sat by the fire with a beer. I was shooting wide open and playing with my ISO value to stop the trailing effect that was blurring the stars. Finally, after two hours of trial and error, I nailed a couple of shots I was happy with. It was cold, it was 12:30 AM, and I was ready to take them into post and see what they looked like. If you're wondering, my sweet spot was 52 seconds exposure time. But, I still have blurring I need to figure out.
Below, you will see a shots from Martin Dies, Jr. State Park and Inks Lake State Park. I plan to continue learning and figuring out how to better my astrophotography skills and how I could utilize the Milky Way creatively in the future.