Desert Milky Way

Off to the far northern edges of Ras al-Khaimer, this weekend, in search of UAE's highest mountain peak, Jebel Jais.  The rocky range is shared with the neighbouring country, Oman. At just over 1900m, the peak occasionally attracts modest snow fall in winter.  But in the middle of summer, with blistering temperatures of 44C, the only thing this barren landscape was going to attract was a couple of weekend warriors armed with camera equipment and dorky head torches.

It was optimistic to say the least, that a weekend away to capture the Milky Way in the height of the hazy season, was going to be successful.  But I had run out of images to post process in Lightroom and I needed new material by hook or by crook and a reason to try out my newly acquired Samyang 14mm f2.8 prime lens. 

During the day we scouted up the jagged mountain range and decided that the peak lookout would offer a vantage point above the haze as much as possible.  It was also facing southeast which was perfect as that is where the Milky Way rises in the northern hemisphere in the summer time.

We arrived just after sunset and after about half an hour of set up, settled in for a night of time lapse and long exposures.  My favourite image of the night shows the Milky Way rising over the mountain range in all its glory with a small meteor streaking in the sky - in spite of the the light pollution and miasma. 


Along the journey I decided to have a crack at vlogging.  So here is my first attempt at making a video.  Be gentle, I only learnt how to edit in Premiere Elements just last weekend.