Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth


My First Milky Way!

Last night we went to watch fireworks and then drive out to the darkest part of the bay area to attempt a milky way photo.  The spot I googled wasn’t very good for fireworks unfortunately so I just tried to enjoy the partially obscured show of lights without taking photos.  The odd thing was that when we got there, all kinds of people were there with their chairs, so I expected it to be wonderful.  Oh well!

The milky way location proved to be a lot better.  We went out by Lake Del Valle in Livermore which is the most rural part around here and about 30 minutes from home.  I never thought I could get a milky way photo around here but I was so happy to find out that it’s possible.  I used a light pollution map which you can see on the second image here.  You can see how light polluted the bay area is but there is a big dark spot right where the horseshoe shape dark spot is below the word Livermore, so that’s where we went.

Armed with a headlamp, my Nikon D750,  14-24mm lens, remote and my husband to keep me from getting hit by the occasional car (don’t ask lol), I thought this turned out pretty good for my first try.  I’d like to try another time later in the night as this was at 10:46 pm.


Milky way near Lake Del Valle, Livermore

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Light Pollution Map




Expanding Horizons – Time Lapse

My latest endeavor is time lapse photography.

My husband and I had an office installation scheduled and were talking to the owner of the company about photography because his younger son is interested in it.  One thing led to another and he asked me if I could do a time lapse of the office installation for the company website.  I agreed not knowing one thing about time lapse!  Is that a bit nuts?

The first thing I did was to look up in my camera manual how to set up a time lapse.  After that I realized the most important information one needs to know is the length of the time you want your final time lapse video to be.  In this case, my customer wanted a 90 second time lapse.  Once you know that, then you can figure out the interval between each photo taken.  There were other considerations to take into account like time lapse flicker, white balance issues and lighting which I realized when I was testing it out in our living room and in the room where the installation would occur.

Once I captured the time lapse (over a two day period), I then loaded it in iMovie and inserted some graphics and transitions along with some music I purchased.  I think learning iMovie was the hardest part of this whole thing!   Here’s the final time lapse for your viewing pleasure!  There are some things I know now that I will do differently the next time but hey, it’s my first attempt.

My customer liked it so much that he is hiring me to do another one in January.  Yay!

Here is a link I found very helpful in learning time lapse photography:  Time Lapse Info



One Year Anniversary! – Monochrome Madness 52

A year ago, Leanne and I were chatting and she mentioned it would be fun to start a weekly monochrome challenge.  We brainstormed for a title of it and came up with MMC.  I do love the “madness” of it all….more like organized chaos lol.   But on a serious note, I can’t believe it’s been one year since this fun challenge started.  Truly incredible!   And of course Monochrome Madness would never happen without all the hard work Leanne puts in on this challenge every week, so a huge “THANK YOU” to Leanne!  We really appreciate it!  🙂

The challenge asked that we share our favorite image from last year plus (if we wanted) a gallery of some of the year’s past images.  The image I chose to share is of the Palace of Fine Arts in SF.  I chose it because of the perspective and light, plus I kind of like how I processed it.   It was the first time I used my 14-24mm lens, and I was amazed what I could see with it.

A gallery of some of my previous MMC images is included below.   Enjoy and thank you for participating!

Before Me

Before Me

For the entire gallery, please check Leanne Cole’s blog.