This image is one of the most popular and endearing I have been lucky enough to have taken. It is a composite of 20 images captured at the limit of the Canon 10D's capability, on a freezing August night in 2004, when the sky was dark enough to capture Saggitarius where the centre of the Galaxy lies, just below the Horizon in this image.

It looks a million times better A3+, and in the detail there is a meteor as well. As it is 18 megapixel in size it can be printed large, but the surprise is that all you get is more dots!

The idea was simple, try and capture the reflection of the Galaxy in the water, the feel of the sky above being fused with the land and water below. I'd never seen or heard of anyone trying to capture this feeling of planet-universe fusion.

Technically it was very tricky, the time of year in the Northern Hemisphere needed to get this shot leaves a window of less than a week or so, and the night had to be crystal clear, very cold, and more. Unfamiliar August weather. To early the night is too light, too late and it slips below the horizon.

It squashes 120 degree perspective into 40 degrees, allowing you to see one arm of the Galaxy in which we live, the dust clouds obscuring the light of billions of suns are very clear in the print. Some of the Messier Objects are visible.

This year the sky was ruined by prevailing conditions and impossible, next year will be too.

Photographically it is around the equivalent of 32,000 ISO, and used a Canon 10D and a 22-55mm f4 lens. As many will say with experience, it is not the number of photosites in a camera that matters, but their sensitivity, especially as the images were not taken in RAW format.

This year I managed to get an expanded area of this picture over Iona, see 2006-7 work

Bob Stewart Photography
More Deep Sky images here