Standing on Sand Beach in the pitch dark, I pointed my camera along the familiar Acadia coastline toward where I could just barely make out the Milky Way. I knew it was there, but to the naked eye it was quite faint. However, when the preview from the 25 second exposure displayed on the LCD screen, I was blown away by how much light the camera could gather when you leave the shutter open for an extended period of time.
Some high clouds threatened to obscure the “star” of the show, but since I wasn’t rushing to take advantage of golden hour light before it disappeared, I was able to stand back and wait until the Milky Way was in full view.
I had a hard time focusing accurately with my 17-40mm lens, and since the best I could do with it was f4, the exposure times were stretching into the range of 35-40 seconds and leading to significant movement in the stars. So instead of going wide, I slapped on my 50mm f1.8, set it to f2.2, and shortened the exposure time to 25 seconds. I got a sharper image, less movement in the stars, and my first photographs of the Milky Way in Acadia.