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Another Mt St Helens Milky Way

As we mentioned in our last post, Sunset at Spirit Lake, we decided to revisit Mt. St. Helens to capture the Milky Way. This time we went armed with more knowledge about how to get better results in post processing by doing things to prepare when the shutter is released.
Again, we want to acknowledge Alyn Wallace, who showed us the application, SEQUATOR, and tips on how to use it.

Sequator is a free app available for Windows. It can be used for stacking star photos like this one.

We also used the IOS and Android App, PhotoPills to verify when the Milky Way would be vertical, and if we could see it from Windy Ridge, and what time. PhotoPills is a very useful application to have on your phone when you go out on a photo trip.
As we said in our previous post, we didn’t make it all of the way up to the viewpoint, but it was higher than the last time.

To get this shot, we set up a chair beside the trail, set our tripod beside it, then aimed the camera at the mountain. We knew, from our PhotoPills planning, that the Milky Way would be vertical, behind the caldera at about 11:00pm. We snapped a few shots before it got too dark to capture the foreground and then, we waited. This is a good time to have an eBook handy.

This shot is a composite of six, eight second exposures, combined in Sequator. The foreground shot taken earlier was composited in and some other adjustments made. All in all, we think it was well worth the trip. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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