Stargazing on the Jurassic Coast

If ever there was any doubt about my sanity, I think this is definitive proof that I lost it some time ago 🙂

There’s a real influx of Milky Way photos on social media at the moment, and I’d been itching to get some night photography practice in for a while. So the only logical thing to do was to keep a close eye on the weather forecast, as well as a variation of other apps, providing details on milky way visibility and position, as well as cloud cover. And it just so happened, that last the conditions were absolutely perfect last Wednesday night…

So as soon as I got home from work in London, I grabbed my camera bag and some snacks and made the two-hour journey from Reading to Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast. For those of you following my adventures, you’ll know that this is my favourite area on the South Coast of the UK, and I’d like to think I know my way around there quite well. I would say though, I need more practice walking along the cliffs at night 😉 It was quite difficult to find a good spot to choose from in the pitch black, and it took a few set up shots just to frame my image just how I had imagined it.
I also realised it’s actually quite tricky to set up a camera on a tripod, and attach a filter holder and filter glass when you can’t really see much (yes, I had a torch, but the light was affecting my eyes even more, so I decided to attempt to adjust to the darkness instead).

Filter!? I hear you cry. Well yes, but not just any old filter. I’d recently been given the NiSi “Natural Night” filter which is meant to remove the orange and yellow colour cast you naturally get in night photography. It’s brilliant! It made editing the photos afterwards much easier as I didn’t have to do any colour correcting. The filter is also transparent enough to not affect camera settings, so you just set up and shoot as normal.

But I digress… Once I had found my spot and started shooting, I thought it would be fun to try out some night panoramas. I had no idea if it would even work, but it was worth a try. Never once did I expect to come home with an image like the one above. I’m super pleased with it, and even though it’s pretty noisy and I could have done better, it’s a good start. I’ll just have to do something like this again, as, well, practice makes perfect, right?

Unlike my other photos, I’m not actually going to make my milky way shots available on the website, as I believe the quality isn’t good enough for potential print orders. So instead, do head over to my Instagram page and check out the three shots I posted there. Obviously feel free to follow me and check out my other photos as well 🙂