Astro and night photography is a very unique type of photography. Not only do photographers need to be able to operate their camera with little available light, but the equipment used must be able to stand up to demanding settings needed to capture the night skies. The special thing about astro and night photography is that I get to capture familiar scenes is a whole new light, one not often seen in many photographs. Some of my favorite things to photograph at night are stars, the Milky Way, and cityscapes. When I am out shooting at night, I feel more connected to the subjects I’m photographing because it is often just the two of us. It’s really special to be able to watch something alone at night when during the day there can be hundreds of people seeing the same thing.
One of my favorite places to take astro photos and nightscapes, and my favorite place to take photos period, is Little Sable Lighthouse on the shores of Lake Michigan. My first time visiting the lighthouse was in early April 2015 when I met up with Daniel Frei of Daniel Frei’s Photography and Ken Williams of Great Waters Photography to shoot some west-side lighthouses the night before a lunar eclipse. It was incredible. The three of us had the entire park and beach to ourselves. The waves crashing on the beach, the full moon lighting the dunes, the lighthouse flashing on and off above us; it was surreal.
Again several months later I got the opportunity to visit the lighthouse again to watch the sunset and stay a little later to enjoy the dark skies near the light and do some short astro photography. This time there was no moon and the stars really got their chance to shine. This is when I shot one of my favorite star trail shots with the stars rotating around the tip of the lighthouse. The Milky Way was also beautifully arching over the lighthouse, but since it was so later in the season, the core of the Milky Way was not visible. It was still amazing sitting on the beach as Lake Michigan’s waves softly crashed on the shore and the occasional shooting star raced across the sky.
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