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What It Takes

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

I was presented with a difficult decision this weekend. Now that the moon is more favorable for photographing the Milky Way the weather is looking questionable. Saturday morning may be the only opportunity for at least a week but I was committed to shoot a motocross event that would make a pre-dawn session tough.

I would have to try and go to bed early Friday night, something really fun in a house full of boys yelling at online gaming opponents. Get up at 1am so I could be on the beach at Pawleys Island by 330am. Wrap up by 545 so I could be home 715, hopefully grab another hour or so of sleep before I need to be up and on the road by 10am.

Then walk all over an MX park carrying 2 cameras for 4 hours and try not to get run over by a bunch of kids who just want to see how high they can jump. Drive an hour back home and try really, really hard NOT to be too grumpy because I haven't really rested since yesterday. Finally getting back in bed at 830pm so my sleep schedule wouldn't be too far off.

If it sounds daunting it was because that's exactly what I did. I'm not saying that every session is like this but the truth is if you really want to shoot nightscapes this is what it takes. Sometimes you are going to be beyond tired but you have to keep going because images like the ones I got Saturday morning are worth it.

I haven't been to the south end of Pawleys Island to shoot Milky Way in a couple of season. The beach renourishment project completed a few years ago significantly changed the character of the place and I struggled to find compositions. Unfortunately it hasn't gotten better. I did manage to find some small dunes to setup my time-lapse behind and a couple of piling that had washed up.

I shot for a bit on the south end and them moved to the pier. The last hurricane washed away a good portion of it and the lights are no longer on so decided to try and capture some images as astro-twilight arrived.

Fingers crossed for some clear skies the rest of the week, especially next Sunday when I try to shoot the SpaceX Crew-6 launch from the beach at Port Canaveral. February is my favorite month for Milky Way photography but the weather rarely seems to cooperate. Here's hoping that March will have a better outlook.

This image is available as a print, please visit my shop to check it and my other prints out now. Prints

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