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Milky Way shoot

Limited meetup: paid members only and do not RSVP unless you are sure you can make it!

March to October are the best time to view and photograph the interesting south end of the Milky Way. I'd like to do several meetups to focus (!) on Milky Way and/or astro-photography shoots, but want to do these in warm temperatures.

This is a new moon night and perfect for viewing the Milky Way, including its beautiful and colorful south end. The Milky Way rises in the East, best viewing is after 9 p.m., but we will get together at 10 to orient ourselves and talk about best practices. Depending on location, you might want to come earlier to shoot the sun afterglow, which lasts until 9.


We will meet at the Mt Greylock tower for this meetup. Mt Greylock is in Adams, MA, you can drive up to the tower at least four different ways, I suggest to map it and get directions that way:[masked], -73.166031. The park is open and small non-commercial groups do not need a permit, there is plenty of parking at the tower, very short walking distance to our shooting. 


Any super wide to normal lens (12-50 mm full frame, 10-35mm cropped sensor) with a minimum aperture of 2.8 or wider (2.0, 1.8 or 1.4 are better). Sturdy tripod and remote control. Intervalometer is a must-have if you want to shoot star trails or time lapse. If you have two cameras, you may want to bring both and use one for star trails/time lapse, the other for individual shots.

Absolutely not head lamps allowed and please keep any bright light use for light painting only and to a minimum. Please learn to use your camera controls blindly, without having to use a flashlight. Get a red pen light from Amazon.

How to shoot the Milky Way?

Here is David Kingham's 10 steps to shoot the MW:

If you have equatorial mount equipment, you can include true astro-photography into this evening by tracking some formation and taking photos of it.

Position of the Milky way at 9:30, just after dark, still close to the horizon. It will rise up higher and be less impacted by the atmosphere as the night progresses. This will be a long night, you may want to bring a mat, chair or sleeping bag. Bring appropriate clothing, bug spray, fluids.

Here is more inspiration for you.

Here is an overview map of the site. Parking is at the top, the tower in the center and there is a radio tower on bottom left, which may make for a good objexct to shoot. We will be facing mostly South-East-ish (right).

And, finally, here is what we will be trying to shoot, this is an image taken by Tim Little (and displayed in 6 ft size inside the visitor center). Check out Tim's page "Cape Night Photography"

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  • Jackie C.

    very nice

    July 26, 2014

  • Elizabeth R.

    What it wasn't: a dark site with the tower illuminated and the Milky Way rising perpendicular to the horizon...What it was: an interesting and lovely site to photograph, and a good time. Fog provided some beautiful diffused light from the valley below, a noisy disorganized film crew provided lights which (sometimes) lit the tower to our advantage. We did get to see the Milky Wy directly overhead.

    July 26, 2014

  • Whitney G.

    Are people getting motels and sleeping over? Or just driving back home after photos?

    July 23, 2014

    • Kathy

      just found out Bascom Lodge has a bunkroom (AMC style) for $40/night

      July 23, 2014

    • Jurgen M L.

      Just driving back afterwards (whenever that will be)

      July 23, 2014

  • Carolyn B.

    I wish I could go! Can't make it this weekend. It looks incredible. Have fun : )

    July 21, 2014

8 went

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