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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Astronomy & Celestial
Thread started 23 Jun 2015 (Tuesday) 17:02
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Milky Way over North Florida

 
mr2step
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Ocala, Florida
Jun 23, 2015 17:02 |  #1

It's been a goal of mine to search all over the local area for a patch of dark skies. I've been busy the last few years searching non stop for such locations and finally had a new moon last week with clear skies forecast which is rare for summer in North Florida. I took this shot between Gainesville and Palatka on my 7D. While a full frame will give me more info with less noise, I only have my 7D so make the best of what's around instead of getting gear envy. Post processing these shots is always a chore and i've seen a thousand different ways to do it and have tried many:-) As I was looking up and walking around for something to shoot in the foreground I happened to just back up and when I looked up I was perfectly positioned under some live oak trees with the spanish moss hanging out of it while the MW was in dead center frame. I frantically set up my tripod and took several shots at differing lengths. this was my personal favorite. Canon 7D ISO 6400 Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 30 seconds

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DanThoman
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Jun 24, 2015 14:14 |  #2

Beautiful shot Brett. When I teach my photo class I always tell my students to backup, look up and turn around. By the way, what's wrong with gear envy?;-)a


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oscarl62
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Jul 01, 2015 04:31 |  #3

Awesome, looks beautiful well done. I'm looking to try it later this month with the new moon.


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mr2step
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Nov 16, 2015 15:44 |  #4

Thanks you guys. I almost stepped on water moccasin setting up this shot as I was so excited looking up I forgot about the things around me on the ground. Lesson learned. Also had a few shots with fire flies buzzing through the sky. It was a great night. Sadly, this was the only night I got out ALL summer as Florida has unbearably cloudy skies most of the summer nights.


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j4cub
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by j4cub.
Dec 06, 2015 17:56 |  #5

Great shot. I've been down here (Fl.) almost 20 years and and this is the worst weather (for AP) I've seen.


Who's mom kidding, I don't see any electricity in there.

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subsailorfl
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Nature Coast Florida USA
Dec 18, 2015 20:53 |  #6

You need to go over to Shired Island. West of Cross City. Great place on/near the water

https://www.google.com ...:0x1ec5f2e1afdaa157​?hl=en (external link)


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samsen
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by samsen.
Dec 19, 2015 10:03 |  #7

subsailorfl wrote in post #17824226 (external link)
You need to go over to Shired Island. West of Cross City. Great place on/near the water

https://www.google.com ...:0x1ec5f2e1afdaa157​?hl=en (external link)

Near the water and you always have excess atmospheric distortion due to Marine layer.
But what a location if you fine the right weather.
BTW do you see the light of New Orleans or Cuba from this location at dark nights?


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subsailorfl
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Dec 19, 2015 22:25 as a reply to samsen's post |  #8

Lights to the north are Horseshoe Beach and to the south Suwanee and/or Cedar Key I believe. Absolute dark area other than 1 or 2 small lights at the beach.


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mr2step
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Feb 20, 2016 16:10 as a reply to subsailorfl's post |  #9

Shired is definately on my radar!! Already did a day trip to scope it out and it is out there a ways but will certainly camp and get some killer sunset images and wait it out until the MW shines overhead.


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MalVeauX
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Feb 20, 2016 20:51 |  #10

mr2step wrote in post #17905998 (external link)
Shired is definately on my radar!! Already did a day trip to scope it out and it is out there a ways but will certainly camp and get some killer sunset images and wait it out until the MW shines overhead.

Shired is good for dark skies. It's hard to find dark skies in Florida. But West Coast, central Florida, is dark. The swamps keep it dark.

The problem with Shired Island is that it's always clogged with people. Tons of them. Day and night. Doesn't matter. All kinds of people, both friendly and rude, as you walk over cigarette butts and beer cans every where. It's really a tragedy that it's as filthy as it is, there. It's a long drive, and very remote. There is a camp ground and a separate area, but they all stay clogged with people year round. The best time to go is when it's cold, so Jan & Feb basically. But it's already 70~80 degrees here in Florida now, so it's already full again I'm sure.

I planned it out, used Stellarium to plot when the milky way's best section (sagitarius) would be in view just over the west coast horizon and it was in July basically, 2014. I wanted to do it at Shired Island because of the location, dark sky, etc. I went to do it. I about lost my mind due to the tons of people all around, even at night, and the nasty trash every where. I didn't even do the shots. I can't enjoy photography with drunk kids throwing beer cans and screaming around me.

:(

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SgtDannySgt
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Qu├ębec, Canada
Feb 23, 2016 14:05 |  #11

Thanks for the insights guys. I am a Canadian Snowbird and we spend our winters in Central Florida. I have been searching for complete darkness and am having no great luck. There is the Kissimmee Preserve North of Lake Okeechobee and did attend once with the promise of dark skies: 170 miles later, cloudy 60-70%. My nearest place would be Colt Creek State park, about 15 miles north of me (Lakeland) but I still manage to get light pollution from Lakeland and Zephyrhills. Still searching...

Superb photo mr2step!!!

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lblanchardiii
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Feb 28, 2016 11:16 |  #12

Wow. That shot is beautiful.




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gslabbert5119
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Mar 19, 2016 14:51 |  #13

Very well done


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mr2step
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Apr 03, 2016 10:18 |  #14

MalVeaux- What a bummer to hear of your story at Shired. I'd think since it was so remote it would be a bit more quiet. I'm planning on making an overnight trip up there in May midweek. Hopefully things will be ok. My one day trip up to recon seemed very conducive for shooting as it was pretty empty expect for the folks who maybe live there in a trailer? I'll report back if/when I get up there!


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subsailorfl
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Nature Coast Florida USA
Apr 28, 2016 23:09 |  #15

I only saw 2 RVs at the fishing pier and 2 at the boat ramp when I was there in August of last year and January of this year. It might have been a fluke and I just lucked out. Likewise cleanliness at the beach itself was good. I parked on the bridge at one point because though the RVs were there I saw no one and no vehicle traffic. Shots from the bridge are challenged by powerlines, the pier gets some shine from the light at a public bathroom to the east of it. During the winter the distortion issue of shooting may be nullified by the low water temperature/low relative humidity.


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Milky Way over North Florida
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