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The Milky Way lights up the sky above Matarangi by Paul Mercer

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The Milky Way lights up the sky above Matarangi by 

Nikon D200
17-55mm f2.8 nikkor lens @ 17mm

Coromandel Peninsula, North Island, New Zealand

This is one of my favourite shots, I love the look of the night sky when the Milky Way stands out vividly like this.

Below are a few more night shots
Click on images to view


  • Jason Asher
    Jason Asherover 5 years ago

    This is incredible Paul! How did you manage this one if I may ask? Very long bulb exposure? The lights on the horizon seem rather clear, or is it a blend of another shot aswell? This is stellar (lame pun intended)

  • Hiya Jason thanks for the great comment, this is a single shot, the exposure time was 30seconds, moon was about half full and not far from setting which is why the foreground rocks are in shadow but there is still moonlight on the town and hills in the background.

    – Paul Mercer

  • Jason Asher
    Jason Asherover 5 years ago

    Ah excellent, I just can’t beleive how much detail is in the stars, I wish we didn’t have so much light pollution here so shots like these were easier! But again great shot!

  • Ive got a few more shots like this that I will have to find and put up another time so keep an eye out for them Jason.

    – Paul Mercer

  • Shelley Warbrooke
    Shelley Warbrookeover 5 years ago

    I agree with Jason, this is one magnificent shot.

  • atomhave
    atomhaveover 5 years ago

    Ok. I am so glad you sent me to this link. This is by far the most spectacular single shot I have ever seen. Having grown up in the US, mostly around cities and towns, I have never seen the milky way band in my knowledge, and have always wanted to take shots like this. I can’t even put words to this…

  • atomhave
    atomhaveover 5 years ago

    How did you do a 30 sec exposure without any star trails?

  • As a general rule you wont notice the stars starting to streak on a 30 second exposure with a wide angle lens, you will if you use a long focal length lens and zoom into them.

    – Paul Mercer

  • Mika
    Mikaover 5 years ago

    Wow that is so amazing! I haven’t seen the sky that clear for a lonnngggg time! Cant wait for summer :)

  • lukasdf
    lukasdfover 5 years ago

    This is soooo brilliant – love it!

  • hsien-ku
    hsien-kuover 5 years ago

    a really incredible capture!

  • Tara Lemana
    Tara Lemanaover 5 years ago

    Congratulations, your image has won the NZ Skies Challenge on the NZ Made Group, November 2009.

  • Thanks Tara

    – Paul Mercer

  • Puggs
    Puggsabout 5 years ago

    Fantastic shot mate, where was it taken?

  • Hiya, this shot was taken from the side of the road at a place called Tuateawa which is on the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island of New Zealand

    – Paul Mercer

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