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Bournemouth Hidden Beauty: Night Sky

Bournemouth, a city blessed with miles of sandy beaches and inspiring scenery….but there is a face that not many people know…the night sky…

One of my first attempts in 2015, the Milky Way above the Bournemouth Pier. Canon 6D Samyang 14mm 2.8. July 2015

Bournemouth has been my personal testing ground for night photography under extreme light pollution….it was only a dream to see the Milky Way under such conditions…but after several attempts I learned a thing or two, extracting the maximum of the camera sensor (Canon 6D) and also from the lenses.

Milky Way next to Bournemouth Pier, July 2015.


It took me several attempts due to my learning curve but also due to the lack of windows of opportunity, most of the times when I went to give it a go, a huge cloud gave me little or no chance…but keep trying and you eventually get something…  The light pollution coming from the beach is amber type, which is very difficult to deal with so first thing to do is to try it  where the lights are not present or when they are switched off, which in Bournemouth Pier is after 1am.

After these shots I though there was more room for improvement and I kept trying different locations. Taking photos of the Milky Way in Bournemouth is most of the time a failure than a success… I have even tried to repeat some of these shots and it has been proven very difficult.  But there was one option I didn’t try last year:  A panoramic shot. And the morning of the 17th April 2016 was the window…it was not very long due to the moon set at 4:20 am aprox and again not being helped by the approaching clouds, but it was enough for only three attempts and here are the results:

The above attempt was in the dark hour (no moon and no twilight of the dawn, it lasted less than 30 min). Few minutes later(image below), the very first light of dawn started to appear on the left…it was a truly breathtaking view….


The first pano is made of 12 vertical images…the second from 5 horizontal images…

I believe that it could be done even better, these images are just a proof of concept..,during summer time there will be another try…Bournemouth deserve it!!!