David Magro Diaries 2013
I was living in China and was returning home in August to begin my Bachelor of Biotechnology degree. I was still waiting for another opportunity to be away from the light pollution to photograph the night sky again. So during the first half of the year I travelled photographing the surrounds, people and culture in the meantime. I was really enjoying photography after my Europe trip and I became more interested this year.
This was also the year I photographed my very first Milky Way photograph.
But first, I went to the Phillipines at the start of the year! I had two weeks on Coron Island diving wrecks and escaping the winter again in February!
When I arrived back to China it was snowing. I walked down alleys and found a little girl building a snowman. Living in Australia I had not seen a snowcapped city, it was an amazing sight to see.
In my spare time I would capture the Chinese culture with my camera.
I enjoyed days visiting the amazing food vendors eating the delicious food, walking the markets, relaxing at Mouchu Lake and people watching.
At the end of July, my 2 years as an English teacher finished and I was on my way home to Australia to begin my Bachelor of Biotechnology degree.
Also, I wanted to photograph the Milky Way stars. There was almost no information on the internet and with my research and learning all I needed was a location away from the city.
I packed my 550D and 10-22mm lens to see if it was possible as I needed to find out for myself.
On August 12th at 10pm I tested my equipment and took my first photograph from my backyard of Berkeley Vale. I was amazed my camera could capture stars which my eyes could not see.
From this moment I was hooked.
Being back home in Australia I wanted to camp under the stars.
I spent three nights in Kandos and the skies were amazing and clear. I couldn't believe what I was seeing as I had not spent the time looking into the stars since being a child.
I spent the nights capturing the stars and finding new compositions at our campsite.
One night I went to Terrigal, I walked down to the rocks at the bottom of the Skillion with my camera and tripod hung over my shoulder. I set up and began photographing the stars. I had captured my photographs and began making my way back to my car until I heard sirens.
I walked to my car and the sirens got louder as they came nearer. I placed my camera equipment in my car and all the police vehicles surround me. I began looking around to see what was happening behind me. It did not cross my mind that it was me.
There was 12 police vehicles positioned around me including S.W.A.T and dogs. Officers approached me and asked what I was doing and if I was carrying any weapons. Deep down inside I wanted to say I was shooting.
They searched my car to find my tripod which got mistaken as a rifle. We had a laugh and I showed them my pretty photographs of the Milky Way. As they left I captured the photo above using my phone.
Capturing the Milky Way stars was easy - planning and editing were the challenges I faced. On the Central Coast I was limited with locations in October due to the Earth position relative to our Sun.
Many times I had driven past this shack and thought how I could capture it with the Milky Way stars. With further planning I discovered it was possible and went to the site to photograph the image "Galactic Shack".
My post processing was limited and shortly I was able to reduce the light pollution from the Central Coast to bring out the Milky Ways stars. The photograph on the left was my first edit whereas the photograph on the right is the new edit. Post processing is a major aspect of night photography which I set out to learn as the Milky Way Season for 2013 was over.