Cuki Collection - Michael Seeley: Photos of Stuff
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The Cuki Way, or maybe Milky Cuki?

The skies were finally clearer this morning for me to attempt the shot I've been wondering about since I first saw the "Cuki" wrecked in Melbourne Beach. There's this window around this time of year where the Sun rises just late enough to be able to catch the Milky Way hanging out over the Atlantic, and I wouldn't have thought the sailboat would still be there five months after washing ashore, but, it is.

So I made an early morning trip to Melbourne Beach, and this is the result. The start of morning nautical twilight was at 6:08 am. I started shooting pointed more toward the east at 4:30 am, but the Milky Way was too low on the horizon, and this image was captured at 5:15 am (pointed more toward the southeast), and I left shortly after that. I wanted to shoot the Milky Way when it was as high in the sky as possible (so, later), but that also meant the dense areas of the clouds (the prettiest) were moving more toward the south, and therefore, toward more light pollution.

As I learned last year, the Atlantic Ocean and Florida, in general, conspire to make winter Milky Way shots soft. Mist from the surf, humidity, dew (although, it was a comfortable 68 degrees at the time of this shot) and light pollution (the Space Coast hardly qualifies as having dark skies; you have to travel well-inland for that) were all working against me this morning.

I may revisit this image (and, sorry Chris Cook, I also included a flashlight shot in the series that I may have to process) when I have more time, but for now, here it is, pushed pretty much to (or maybe beyond) reasonable processing limits. It is a spectacle of dehaze and saturation adjustments, and I shudder to think about what Facebook will do with the image.

ISO3200, 30-seconds at f2.8 with a Rokinon 14mm on a Canon 5D4. Initial edits were done in Lightroom, and then Color Efex4 (detail extractor) and the final edits were done (again) in Lightroom.

372A7781AstrophotographyAtlantic OceanBeachCanonCukiHurricaneIrmaLongExposureMelbourne BeachMike SeeleyMilky WayMilkyWayNightPhotographyOceanSailboatWreckshipwreck