SS Speke © 2015 Ross. All rights reserved.

SS Speke

The wreck of the SS Speke under the Milky Way. The two bright blobs on the left are the large and small Magellanic Clouds, and the streak of light at bottom right is a small meteor.

This was taken after a late shift at work one moonless night. I’d had basically this image in my mind for a long time beforehand, so I made the trip to this wreck with a very clear idea in my mind of what I wanted. Of course, a few things changed from what I had planned: I’d hoped to get some moving water at the bottom of the image, but I couldn’t get enough exposure down there without light-painting, and light-painting doesn’t give the right feel to the water I was after; and I had planned to have the Milky Way “frame” the wreck in the foreground, but found this “leading line” composition worked better to my eye.

The “detour” ended up taking 3 hours or so, about 1 hour of which was spent walking to and from the location, and at least another 30 minutes of which was spent trying to find the wreck itself. You see, moonless nights are dark, and no matter how many times you’ve been to a spot, things can get mighty disorienting when ALL illuminating light sources are gone, and your torch-light only penetrates a little way through the ocean mist. I actually had to set my camera on the tripod, make a few 30s exposures in random directions, then look at the previews on the LCD screen to navigate with any sense of direction.

An interesting adventure, and one of my more satisfying to date.

SS Speke

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