Milky Way Photography on the Sonoma Coast

On the most recent new moon I made a late drive to the Sonoma Coast near Jenner California to do some long exposure photography of the Milky Way. The results were better than I had expected and I am really proud of the photos. I have ordered a print of the panorama, and can’t wait to have it hanging on my wall!






There are 9 comments left Go To Comment

  1. Barry /

    Awesome pics. You selling prints? Maybe Trade?

    1. Jesse Rockwell / Post Author

      Thank You! I am currently doing a test print with a local company, and if the quality is up to my standard, I will proceed with more.

    2. Jesse Rockwell / Post Author

      I am now selling prints on Etsy. Please have a look if you are interested!

  2. Linda Lee Bell /

    Spectacular photos.

    1. Jesse Rockwell / Post Author


  3. Michael Klusek /

    No wonder, these are terrific, some of the best I have seen. And I see a lot from the Astronomy picture of the day app. I especially like the middle one. How long was the exposure?

    1. Jesse Rockwell / Post Author

      Thank You Michael! These were 30 second exposures at ISO 2000. Can’t go much longer without the stars trailing.

  4. jabalong /

    Hi, beautiful shots! I find these kind of earthbound astronomy shots staggering as I’ve never seen anything like it in my own experience.

    So a “new moon” is when the moon is least visible and hence the sky is darkest? And I gather where you were in the Sonoma Coast is away from any built-up area.

    Is it the combination then of no moonlight or ambient artificial light that allows you to see so much in the sky?

    Or is it something in the time-lapse and/or exposure that allows that cloud effect of stars to pop out? I’m just wondering if this is what can be seen from the naked eye.

    Very neophyte questions I know. Sad that most of city-dwelling humans never get a chance to see anything like this and are thus so uninformed. Or maybe it’s just me! :P

    1. Jesse Rockwell / Post Author

      Thanks for your kind words. Yes, being away from “light pollution” is very important when shooting the Milky Way, and the least amount of moonlight possible is also important.

      This is not what the milky way looks like to the naked eye. It is visible with the naked eye, quite brightly in the right conditions, but these shots rely on a long exposure (allowing more light onto the camera sensor) as well as the use of editing software (Adobe Lightroom 5)

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