The Milky Way from Venice, Los Angeles, California

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Venice Beach Milky Way, Rokinon 14mm/2.8 @ 2.8, 30s, ISO3200

I stepped out underneath heavily light polluted skies last night to see what I could do with the conditions that Venice Beach offers. The results might surprise you.

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Venice Beach Milky Way before edits

All told, I can’t really recommend Venice Beach as a great astrophoto location, there’s just too much light pollution. It’s impossible to see the Milky Way with the naked eye under such conditions. That said, I was able to still point my camera in the right direction by finding some of the constellations along the Milky Way galactic plane, namely Sagittarius, and try a few exposures.

If you hover over the below image to see what the image looked like directly out of the camera, you can see that it was basically impossible to tell if the Milky Way was even there, it’s just heavily obscured by light pollution. Imagine if we made a real effort to control our use of artificial light and could actually see our galaxy from our largest cities.

“Rose Ave. Lifeguard Shack Under the Milky Way” Canon EOS 6D, Rokinon 14mm/2.8 @ 2.8, 27s, ISO3200, Processed in Adobe Lightroom. Hover for unprocessed image.

I invite you to try making a nightscape image in a light polluted area and share the results on the lonelyspeck.com flickr group. If you would like to learn how to photograph the Milky Way check out my free tutorials or sign up for my online class Nightscapes: Landscape Astrophotography Online Skillshare Class for a project based course and lifetime access to guides and video tutorials about nightscape photography.

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Ian Norman

Creator at Lonely Speck
Ian Norman, co-founder and creator of The Photon Collective and Lonely Speck. Ian is a full time traveler, photographer and entrepreneur. In February 2013, he called it quits on his 9-to-5 to pursue a lifestyle of photography. Follow Ian's photography adventures on Instagram.

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