Galactic Glacial lake with ISS.

The beautiful glacial lake of Llyn y fan fawr with the Milky Way rising above and the ISS shooting across and disappearing behind Pen y fan.

In this image from left to right you can see the misty Andromeda galaxy, International space station, Mars, Saturn and so much more.


The image above is quite possibly one of my larger single image projects I've done. It started by researching for the right time of year that the Milky Way would align with the beautiful Lynn y Fan Fawr glacial lake. This turned out to be at the very beginning of Milky Way season, in May. Once the time of year was established I then had to find the 2 weeks within May that there was no, or very little moon, as this would be too bright and obscure the Milky Way. With the time frame found, next was to hope for a clear weather window within this 2 - 3 weekend period and be ready if it happens.....otherwise its a 12 month wait!

The weather fortunately worked out this year with a clear weekend forecast and a small crescent moon. So one weekend my good friend Kev and me set off on a 2 hour car journey followed by a 7 mile hike to the location. Here we set up camp with our tents, ate some food, and got a few Zzzz's in before getting up again at 1am. Having already found a few good locations in daylight we were able to head straight to the spot ready to set up the shot.

For a panoramic image its absolutely essential to have the tripod level, so this was first on the tech list. Focal length set to 16mm and focus set on the brightest star. Find the start point and end point with preferably bookends within the frame. Using cable release I took one shot after the other, turning a bit in-between each ensuring there is plenty of overlap between the two images. From right to left, then tilt up slightly and back again. In total 20 images. Then when the ISS started its pass I moved back to centre and took 7 more shots as it passed overhead.

Shortly after it was back to the tent for an hour or so kip before sunrise. After bagging some great sunrise shots it was time for breakfast, a coffee and the 5 mile walk back to the car.

Processing took approximately 6 hours to complete - combining all 27 images; balancing the image; extracting the detail; controlling the exposure and making it look as natural as possible.