View Full Version here: : Source of Light
30-07-2012, 07:04 AM
The Milky Way Galaxy, shining from the light of billions of stars hangs over the shining light of the Cape Leveque (http://www.mikesalway.com.au/tag/cape-leveque) Lighthouse, in the beautiful Kimberley (http://www.mikesalway.com.au/tag/kimberley) region of north west Australia.
If there’s one person I can thank for this photo, it’s Cheryl – our guide from Kimberley Wild. Without her, this photo wouldn’t have been possible.
On the first night of our stay at Cape Leveque, I saw the potential of this type of shot, however there was a big fence with a locked gate around the whole lighthouse area and as much as I tried to poke my camera under, through and around the fence and gate, I couldn’t compose my shot without getting part of the gate in the shot.
So I issued a challenge to our amazing guide Cheryl, to see if she could find the key and get permission to open the locked gate so I could get inside to get the shot. The next night, she came through! She had to wait with me so I had to be quick, but I spent the next 10 minutes walking around the lighthouse trying different compositions to get the lighthouse with the Milky Way above. And the first shot is my favourite from the night.
I've also attached 2 other compositions. Which one is your favourite?
- Large 1 (http://www.mikesalway.com.au/download/269)
- Large 2 (http://www.mikesalway.com.au/download/270)
- Large 3 (http://www.mikesalway.com.au/download/268)
- Blog (http://www.mikesalway.com.au/2012/07/30/source-of-light/)
Settings: Single 30 second exposures, captured with a Canon 5D Mk II and Samyang 14mm lens, f/2.8 @ ISO3200.
It’s so rewarding when you see an idea for a shot in your head, and it actually comes out as planned.
30-07-2012, 07:38 AM
Very nicely framed. #1 for me with the tower pointing to the milkyway bulge. :thumbsup:
30-07-2012, 07:42 AM
#1 for me. When I was up there I was cursing that lighthouse for ruining my timelapse...never thought of imaging the damn thing ;). Good effort!
Very impressive result Mike, like it very much.
As you know Mike, I love these shots, what a great idea for a nightscape.
I still like #2 the best as the MW looks like it's shining out of the lighthouse.
My next choice is #1 with the MW stretch over the top, excellent.
Well done my friend, and keep paying attention to the ideas you see in your head, (but ignore the little voices).
30-07-2012, 09:38 AM
What a beaut image!
#1 does it for me, even though I do like the way the milky way extends from the lighthouse in #2
30-07-2012, 10:41 AM
Outstanding shots Mike! :thumbsup:
30-07-2012, 11:19 AM
They're all good but my preference in #1.
30-07-2012, 11:31 AM
Maaaate..Respecting the "Light" AND a tree :eyepop:...it's a shoe-in ;)
Awesome shot and the forground has a conection (ie relevance) - a beacon to the galaxy and even the living organism in the shot (the tree) is reaching out to the Mliky Way = very cool :)
30-07-2012, 03:28 PM
Well, they are all nice but #2 seems more dynamic. In #1 and #3 the milky way hangs over the lighthouse (which is fine) and is better exposed than in #2. But I think the strong diagonal lines in #2 give it a quality the other lack. I think you could have got a better shot if they had just turned the light down a bit. :lol:
Unfortunately I never got to Cape Leveque. We took the beach-side road (not the more inland road you went on) and wound up very up-close and personal with some mud flats just before sunset. I've never dug and jacked so fast. We got out OK and ended up staying at a beach for a week without seeing another soul. On the way back we got talking to one of the last traditional owners who was passing his knowledge on to a white anthropologist because 'the young people don't care'. I learned how to tell if a paperbark is growing on salt-water or fresh-water (and so where to dig for water) and how to get honey from native bees.
BTW did you get any sleep on the trip??
fantastic concept and beautiful outcome :thumbsup:
I agree - my favorite is Nr 2, too. although it's a predictable perspective (once you see it) and in that a bit cheesy. but the drama happening is exciting.
would cut off the right part because it doesn't add anything to the story but is a party stopper.
30-07-2012, 08:40 PM
:eyepop: Sensational images Mike! I love them all but if I had to choose I would have to say Number 1 definitely wins it for me. That one branch in front of the lighthouse in number two takes a bit away from that image for me. Love the processing on all of them. I'm curious about the star spikes in number one. Did you add these in post?
30-07-2012, 09:38 PM
Fantastic images Mike, the composition and the soft light look really beautiful. The first one is also my favourite, but they are all stunning. Thanks for sharing this.
31-07-2012, 05:01 AM
Thanks Marc - #1 feels more balanced for me too.
haha thanks Colin. When I was down on the beach doing the night shots I thought the beam might impact in some of the shots but it didn't seem to.
Where's your photos/timelapse from Cape Leveque?
Thanks Leon, I'm glad you like it. I'd love to do some of the touring around north and west australia you did!
Thanks RB :) Thanks also for being the fresh pair of eyes when I needed it. When I look at my original versions now they're just not as good :)
Thanks Dean, that's why I liked #2 too but the shot overall didn't feel as balanced.
Many thanks for the comments Adam.
haha thanks Mike, the tree made for a great foreground object as well as the lighthouse. I love the subtle light shining off the limbs of the tree.
Thanks for your comments and story. It's a shame that some of that knowledge is going to be lost in future generations.
The very high and fast rising tides up there got someone at Broome on our last night of the tour. They got stuck on the beach with an incoming tide and the water was over the bonnet!
We had a lot of early mornings (3:30-4:30am starts) in order to get where we needed to go by sunrise, but we were all so tired we were in bed by 9-10pm most nights.
I didn't get out by myself as much as I thought I would. Tiredness, the cold, and the bright moon were major factors - plus, I just didn't feel confident in some of the places to go out by myself to try and find a better foreground.
Thanks for the feedback. I actually have a cropped version of #2 for the same reason you said but I wasn't a fan of the more square aspect ratio. I've attached it here for interest anyway :)
Thanks Greg, appreciate the comments.
Yeh I went a bit further on #1 and added some subtle star spikes (Noel Carboni's tools) to the bright stars (crux, pointers and antares only I think) and then set the opacity to 50% on that layer.
It was a bit of an experiment but I'm fairly happy with how it looks.
Many thanks Rolf, appreciate you taking the time to comment.
ah, I like Nr2, now. my winner :)
31-07-2012, 05:33 PM
Terrific compostion Mike.
Number 2 is my favourite. The light on the tree from the Lighthouse is almost surreal and gives a wonderful colouring.
That's very arty.
31-07-2012, 06:35 PM
I'd consider cropping some (not much) of the foreground and making it wider. Maybe about the bottom of the bushes. The shadows at bottom L aren't doing anything and the brightness of the ground detracts from the sky. The space to the R gives the strong lines of the tree and milky way somewhere to go and some space to exist in.
31-07-2012, 06:48 PM
They are soooo nice ... I like them all.
I wish for a sky like that ... so expansive ... .you could spend hrs just looking and looking ... !! ..... and go back for more ... !!!
31-07-2012, 08:51 PM
I like the second one best, but maybe clone out that branch in front of the light house.
31-07-2012, 09:46 PM
lovely work mike, no 2 is pretty good, as too the first shot.
31-07-2012, 11:41 PM
Stuck on a disk in Perth. I'll try to get some up when back in September. Enjoying all your posts in the meantime... bringing back some nice memories (except for that damn lighthouse! ;) ). Btw, I think one of the timelapses worked, but the other looking north over the island flickers badly. Was doing a bramp into night and completely forgot about the lighthouse.
01-08-2012, 12:34 AM
Great shots Mike. I prefer #2 for the composition - the angle of the MW and tree and more land in the foreground to balance it. The branch over the lighthouse detracts from it for me though as the lighthouse is the main focus of the image. So a few steps to the left would have been perfect. It's not too far to go back and try that! haha.
01-08-2012, 06:05 AM
haha thanks, number 2 is getting a few votes now. :)
Thanks Greg - I agree about the tree. The colours of the branches and the lighting on the branches, from both the lighthouse on one side and the Moon on the other, really give it a great feel.
Thanks, will give it a try and see how I like it.
Thanks Colin :) I wish I could go back for more :)
Thanks Paul, I did have a quick go at cloning the branch out first time around but it was pretty difficult because the lighthouse behind it isn't very uniform in colour or structure, so I gave up.
I might try it again when I get some more time.
I can't wait to see your shots!
Thanks Wayne, yeh the branch is the only reason I don't like #2 for the theme - but #1 feels a more balanced composition.
I wish I could've stayed another night to shoot it again, or at least have more than 10 minutes 'inside the fence' but I'm happy to have been able to capture what I did.
Fabulous images and composition!
You really have to hand it to all the people involved in designing the sensor, the
camera and the software as well. A few years back the ability to capture images
as nicely executed as these would have been seriously technically challenging and prohibitively expensive.
Today the technology is available as an off-the-shelf consumer item.
In your skillful hands, that technology has been transformed into pure artistry.
02-08-2012, 04:49 PM
Some seriously great shots Mike, hard to choose between them.
I like number 2 the best, the lighting of that tree in the foreground is captivating.
05-08-2012, 12:32 PM
Without a doubt, photo 1 is my favorite, excellent framing, highlight and shadow. Framing is off a bit in the other two.
Pearler of a shot Mike. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
06-08-2012, 06:54 AM
Many thanks Gary. It's quite amazing how these cameras can see in the dark. When I showed some of the tour group on the back of my camera, they were amazed at what they were seeing.
I then took 7 of them out to the bungle bungles with me a few nights later and after a 5 minute tutorial on Piccanniny Creek bed, they were all capturing night sky images and were amazed. They all thought it was a highlight of the whole tour.
Thanks for your feedback :) I agonised for days trying to choose the best one :)
Thanks Peter - the balance feels better in the first one to me too.
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