The Darker the Better

Light is critical to photography. For most situations an absence of light isn’t a good thing. However when it comes to astrophotography, the darker the better.

A critical piece of getting good shots of the Milky Way and the rest of the stars is getting far enough away from the city that the surrounding light pollution doesn’t interfere with the night sky.

I live in the city, but in a fairly rural state. While my home isn’t ideal for seeing the stars, a short hour drive from home will get me to a dark enough area that I can see the Milky Way.

It’s not always easy getting the perfect shot at night. There’s a lot going on and so many decisions to make. I am always learning and always planning for these night adventures. But even the best laid plans don’t always succeed....

So many times I’ll arrive and the clouds won’t cooperate or the only farmer for 20 miles has one insanely bright light in the middle of the area I scouted out during the day thinking it would be the perfect spot for a Milky Way photo. So I have to be flexible. I have to change my composition or photograph things slightly differently than planned. A Milky Way photo might turn into a star trails photo instead. Sometimes I’ve gone out to take photos of a comet and then turned around to get an even better shot of the Milky Way with sunflowers. Other times everything works as planned!

In the end the most important thing is I don’t stop trying. I never stop learning.

What inspires you to keep going?What are you passionate about?

Don’t be afraid to try new things and never be afraid of failing. Oftentimes, with photography, I will have 400 shots that fail to capture the moment I’m experiencing. I frustratingly search through them, deleting a blurry one here, or a much too dark one there, but then, I see it. The shot I saw with my eyes and felt with my soul. It only takes one magnificent photo to wash away all the failures. No matter what life throws your way, keep going, and if things get too hard.....? Maybe take a drive until the city lights fade away, and all that’s left is quiet, and the dark sky, and a million stars to keep you going.


Thank you for taking the time to visit my website, read my stories and enjoy my fine art photography. As always if you have any questions or need help picking out the next photo for your collection please send me a message.


Happy Hogtor Photography