Cannon Beach was cold last Saturday night. We spent a fair number of hours there watching Perseid meteors (none of which show up in this shot) and shooting the sky. Despite the amount of light pollution from the buildings along the beachfront, the Milky Way was surprisingly well-defined.
Pictures like this fall into the small category of shots which really do require high-end cameras and lenses to take. To keep the stars sharp pinpoints, you need to be able to capture the scene using a shutter speed less than about 30 seconds when using a wide angle lens. For a longer lens or latitudes that are further south, the acceptable shutter speed time is even less. To achieve this, you need to bump the ISO way up (1600 or 3200 is normal) and shoot with a large aperture of f/4 or wider.
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