16 Feb 2019. At the mercy of the elements
The distinctive shape of this rocky feature–one of the “Cathedral Rocks” near Kiama, Australia–has been formed and transformed by wind, water, sand, changes in temperature and possibly seismic shifts over many millennia. Although we think of such structures as firm and constant, anything at the mercy of the elements finds its daily timeline controlled by forces outside of itself.
I know how the rock feels. When I left home on Thursday night to photograph the Milky Way rising behind Cathedral Rocks, the sky was cloudless, and the forecast was for it to stay that way until after sunrise. Based on that information, I spent a lot of the 90 km drive (approx. 56 miles) planning to shoot a time-lapse sequence of the Milky Way, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn rising from behind the rocks, over several hours. Less than half an hour after I arrived, though, clouds started moving in from the northeast, squelching all of those intentions entirely. 🌌
Fortunately, I still got a few usable photos, like this one showing the planet Jupiter (lower left) and the upper reaches of the Milky Way’s core rising from a cloud front on the horizon. Light from houses and street lamps nearby was enough to illuminate the rocks and water without me having to use one of the LED banks that I’d carried with me out onto the rock shelf.
The equipment I was to capture this photo was a Canon EOS 6D camera, Canon 50mm lens @ f/2.5, using an 8-second exposure @ ISO 6400.
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