Under the Milky Way . . .

Living in East Tennessee, I have the advantage of only having about a two hour drive from an area that is considered a "dark sky" area.   This means that the light pollution that comes from street lights, advertising signs, house lights, etc. is low enough to allow a clearer view of the night sky.  

During this time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is in such a position that the galactic center of the Milky Way is lit more brightly.  Now, look up at the night sky and the fact is you are looking at the Milky Way; our solar system is smack dab in the middle of it.  But what people marvel at is its galactic center.  There are some stunning photos of the Milky Way, usually taken in very remote places since the further you can get away from artificial light, the brighter the stars will be.

Taylor lights up the night sky!

But while images of the Milky Way are beautiful, I think they would be improved with the addition of people.  Imagine a bridal portrait done under the stars, or a family Christmas card, or a senior portrait, or simply yourself because . . .w ell, because you can.  It is beautiful and it is unique.

Are such pictures easy to do?  No.  First, you have to find a dark sky area.  Then, you need a time when the moon is new, or just before or after a new moon, so there is as little illumination in the sky.  You need a clear night.  You need a southern view.  And you need to be there when the Milky Way arches overhead, which differs depending on the time of year.  Maybe it is at 10:00 pm.  Maybe it is at 2:00 am.  And . . . you have to stay still for a long exposure.

Breanna dances beneath the stars.

But it is worth the effort.  Last Saturday, friends and I headed out to the Cherohala Skyway in East Tennessee, about a 30 minute drive from Tellico Plains, TN.  We took some models and had a lot of laughs photographing them under the Milky Way. 

Mike looks like an ethereal gunslinger

Nature provides some great settings for us - let's take advantage of them and make some beautiful images.  If you are game for a light night out, so am I!  Give me a call and let's make arrangements.