I was determined to find and shoot the Milky Way for the first time in my life last weekend. We don’t have nice big national parks near Manila, so there was no default option. I opened Google Maps, found the first place with a name in the middle of nowhere (only two hours away!), and made plans.
The next day, my buddy and I were treated to perfect conditions and the starriest skies I’ve ever seen. I never even knew the Big Dipper was, well, that big, having never seen it with my own eyes. On the other side, Scorpius and Sagittarius held a huge swathe of the sky imperiously, as the Southern Cross glowed above the sacred silhouette of Mt. Banahaw.
This experience, these shots —- I always knew I had them in me, but for some reason I just never tried. Never made the drive, never brought the gear, never sussed out the technique; there was always some excuse not to try. Perhaps now, I’ll make it a point to try more often.