Milky Way Galaxyrise From Maui

Milky Way galaxyrise from Maui (at the Mauian hotel)

I was lucky enough to finally visit Hawaii with my parents. Being experts Hawaii tourists, they set us up in a nice traditional resort called The Mauian - a nice quiet(er) little place that has a time for “quiet hours” (apparently the other resorts are places to party).

We got back to the hotel a little after quiet hours, and my folks mentioned that you could see the Milky Way quite clearly. Being Hawaii, and Maui at that, there wasn’t a lot of light pollution like we’re used to. I thought I better not miss the chance, and went and grabbed my 16-35mm f/2.8.

I didn’t bring any sort of a tripod on this trip, so I grabbed my spare pants and rolled them up a bit, then rested the camera on them. Not too bad, actually.

The final settings: 16mm f/2.8, 4 seconds @ ISO 6400. I was also sure to move to manual focus and set the focus at the sweet-spot (live view helps a bit here).

There was surprisingly little post-processing. I added the usual tweaks to highlights and shadows and adjusted the black and white levels very slightly. Added a bit of clarity and a bit of vibrance to bring out the colors. This was at ISO 6400, so I added some noise reduction combined with some sharpening.

Recently I have been lusting after a nicer astrophotography lens, the 24mm f/1.4, but this photo I took with my existing gear mostly proved to me that I can make do with what I have. Also, location matters the most. You can’t get these kinds of shots from where I live without driving hundreds and hundreds of miles away.