The Magic of the Suwannee River

May 12, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Yes, I did attempt to chase down the Northern Lights during the recent G5 storm, but I was a day too late I'm afraid. Don't despair because that gives me a reason to travel to one of the epic locations where they are dramatic and far more visible.

Instead, I went out on Saturday night, for some dark sky photography. It started with attempting to capture the International Space Station as it transited a crescent moon at approximately 9:22 pm. If you want to see how that went for me, check back for more on that in a later post.

I also captured a few deep sky clusters and galaxies... more on those later as well...

Then, I drove an hour and a half up to Southern Georgia to a dark sky site in an attempt to get the Milky Way rising in the early morning hours of Sunday. I wanted to have it rising over the Suwannee River, with a reflection on the water. I found the perfect spot for that, on the banks of the Suwannee near the Stephen C Foster State Park. This photo was captured around 1:30 am over the calm and quiet Suwannee River. Surprisingly enough, there were no mosquitos or bugs to contend with! Though, I heard plenty of coyotes howling and yipping in the nearby forest. I would hear a ripple on the water every now and then and the hair on the back of my neck would rise, fearing an alligator was creeping up on me. I'd swing my flashlight in that direction as if it were a light saber cutting through the thick darkness toward whatever menacing threat was crawling out of the water toward me, only to discover the blips of water splashing was from small fish along the waters edge plucking off a bug from the surface every now and then. I think it was safe to say I felt a bit uneasy under the cloak of darkness. 

While this is not the best shot, I feel safe telling you all that I'm learning better ways to photograph and process Milky Way images (currently in class to learn this). One thing I do know, practice makes... well, I won't say perfect, but it sure can make my imagery better. So, I'm putting this one out there to depict a starting point. I may come back and re-edit it (reduce the purples?) after I learn better editing techniques. It all just takes so much time, something I wish I had more of.

Your feedback is welcome, constructive criticism can only help me grow.

Click on the image for a larger version and to see more in my Astrophotography gallery.

Magic Suwannee RiverMagic Suwannee River


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