My First Photo of the Milky Way

It was an unexpected night. The moon was bright, but I still tried.

I have been trying to photograph the Milky Way for a long time ever since I got my second digital camera, the Sony RX-100 VA. Most nights were unfruitful, since whenever I try to go outside, it's either cloudy, or it's a full moon.

Today, mother said that there's lots of stars tonight. Still not keeping my hopes up, I went outside with my camera and my cheap tripod. I wasn't expecting anything. What I got was something I wasn't expecting, since it's about 50% full moon, and the sky is pretty bright.

At first, it looked like clouds. Nothing special, in fact, I'm sick of them. But it doesn't look exactly like a cloud. Upon further inspection and confirmation with a phone app, it's the real thing. It's the Milky Way.

At first, it actually isn't how it looks on the photo above. It's ever so slightly dim, almost indistinguishable from the bright background which is the sky. But it's visible. And after some post-processing, I was able to reveal most of its details.

Granted, today isn't the best or even ideal condition for Milky Way photography, but as the moon gets closer and closer to new moon (October 28), I can only wish that the Milky Way also gets brighter and brighter.

As a bonus, I have finally chosen the right exposure settings to make this 5-minute star trail photo look acceptable. This, too, is post-processed, but compared to the Milky Way, this is way easier to take. Unfortunately, my camera's lens is showing its limitations, resulting in a dark spot on the center of the image during very long exposure shots and if you post-process it. I could have corrected it in post-processing, but... Nah. Too lazy.

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