Touch the Sky or Milky Way

Was in southwestern Minnesota last weekend and went out to try to get my first shots of the Milky Way. Went to Touch the Sky Prairie (gallery here) which is up on a hill in the middle of farm country. This is actually a nature preserve founded by National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg who is originally from nearby Luverne, MN.

Touch the Sky Prairie, Milky Way, Astrophotography

Touch the Sky Prairie

The above photo was at 16mm on a Sony A99 full frame. It was f/2.8, 30 seconds at ISO 3200 I believe. Even with a good lens and camera combo I had to be aggressive in pulling out the milky way. It’s a dark area but still plenty of light pollution from nearby Luverne and Sioux Falls, SD.

Also had a bit of fun up there with some light painting. Used my flashlight with red filter to create this sort of Mars landscape scene.

Light Painting, Mars Light Painting, Martian Landscape Lighting, Touch the Sky Prairie

Ghost of Mars

Check out more photos from Touch the Sky Prairie.

2 thoughts on “Touch the Sky or Milky Way

  1. Wonderful shots. According to the exif, the ISO was 2000. Usually people avoid light pollution when taking shots like these, but in this case I think that the light pollution makes the photo more interesting.
    Both are great shots and I like the result of you playing with the flashlight.

    • Thanks Cardinal. Appreciate your comments. I was surprised there was so much light pollution in this area but I think how flat the area is has an effect and there’s no tree line or hills to block it at the horizon.

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