Updated: Jul 25
The first few years of shooting the night sky were a solitary experience for me, I was almost always out there alone. Then I found a few other photographers who had the same obsession and we would meetup from time to time but it was never a regular thing. Last year I made my first trip to the Outer Banks to shoot the Milky Way and it was also the first time took one of my sons with me.
In the past eleven months I've been to the OBX 6 times and he has been right there with me. Playing in the dunes until it gets dark and then hanging out somewhere within a few yards of me while I capture images.
Having someone there all the time has been a bit of a new experience for me, especially since it's not another adult. I have to carry extra food and water, make sure he's warm enough, entertained and feels safe.
I was excited when I got to the lighthouse parking lot on our last trip. There were no other cars which meant I would have the place all to myself. As we walked out it was clear that this was not case. It wasn't other photographers, it was a herd of deer. We gave them a wide berth and made our way to a spot in between the old keepers residences.
The deer never really left, they just kind of slowly made their way towards the woods and that kind of unnerved my son. He spent the rest of our time there standing between me and my tripod. I got my shots and we headed out. Several of the deer where still hanging around and he even realized one of them was a good sized buck.
It occurs to me that in less than a year I have gone from almost always heading out to shoot alone to literally having a person standing between me and the camera. I guess it's time to purchase a third camera and start teaching him how to capture nightscapes so I can at least stand in my own space.