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Behind the Scene Winner • Niccolo Coli

Cervantes, Australia
Sony A7 II, Samyang 14mm f/2.8, f/2.8, 300sec, ISO 2500

In November 2017, when I was in Perth for a business trip I decided to plan a shooting weekend and try to capture the Milky Way. Driving north up to Cervantes and the famous Pinnacle Desert I spotted these vast white sand dunes stretching into the Indian ocean.

I hiked up on the dunes before sunset and took a couple of pictures of the sand. The sun was still shining and the wind blowing the sand into my lens didn't make it easy.

I set the camera right behind the razor-sharp crest and started shooting against the sunset. At first I didn't expect a very exciting show from the sunset as the sky was clear and without clouds, but colours of the distant sky became amazingly vivid after the sun had set behind the distant ocean.

Soon after the darkness was taking over the sky, the majestic reverse arch Milky Way revealed itself over the horizon.

I spent about three hours on the dune in total darkness and silence, with the wind blowing and lightning strikes of a distant storm occasionally lighting up the sky.

This image is an exposure/time blend:
Sky: stacked 15 images, 300sec total exposure, f/2.8, ISO 2500
Foreground: single exposure 1sec, f/8, ISO 100

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