Milky Way from Kauai!

Milky Way season is here! This essentially means that the core of the Milky Way is visible in the Northern Hemisphere at night.

I got to spend the last ten days on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, also known as the garden isle due to its lush vegetation and usually heavy rainfall. Since it is one of the smaller islands, there was very minimal light at night which made for perfect Milky Way shooting conditions

I am fairly new to "astrophotography," but it is an experience I would highly recommend to anyone. I spend most of my days doing pretty much the same things (with minor variants of course) and it is so easy to become complacent in my routines. Knowing myself, I didn't think I was even capable of waking up at 2am, ESPECIALLY on vacation! Getting some shots of the Milky Way was on my bucket list for this vacation, but I had very little hope that it actually would happen. Plus, the Kauai sky is usually covered in clouds which eliminates the possibility of a good shot. Nothing would be worse than setting an alarm to wake up at 2am, spending fifteen minutes setting up my camera gear and waking up only to walk outside to a sky blanketed in clouds.

All that being said, I made a deal with myself: IF I wake up naturally between the hours of 2am - 3am, AND there are no clouds in the sky, I will get out of bed and go take some pictures. At the time that I made this deal, it was a standing offer for any night I was in kauai, but that first night just happened to satisfy both requirements. I couldn't believe it! Laying there in bed, looking out the window and there wasn't a cloud in the sky (it had been raining for the past four days straight!). Then I looked at my clock and it was 2:30am. Ok fine! I'll get out of bed. It was challenging at first, because I was so tired. But once I started shooting, the energy started flowing through me. As the I tweaked the settings after every shot, my addiction was being fueled. The shots kept getting better and better. I was so thrilled that after almost two hours of shooting, I was unable to fall back asleep (very rare for me). 

These shots are not perfect by any means, but it was a priceless learning experience to take them. Please enjoy some of my favorites over my time in Kauai.