The Milky Way has been rising earlier and earlier over the past couple of months and its finally clearly visible at decent time to get some astrophotography in. I couldn't think of a better place to kick off my Milky Way chasing this year than Borrego Springs. Borrego Springs is a quiet little desert town in between the Anza Borrego State park and the Salton Sea. This is a dark sky community which means there is very little light pollution and it's pretty flat and overall pretty open. It is also littered with unique metal sculptures of ancient and modern life that has existed in this area. Combine all this together and you have an astrophotographer's dream set up.
For this trip I wanted to experiment with some star trails and my lens ball while waiting for the Milky Way to rise. A lens ball is a simple glass sphere, but to me it really makes some images pop. The most prominent sculpture in the desert is a giant sea serpent that actually crosses the highway. I pulled up to this guy and set up two tripods, one for my lens ball and one for my camera. It actually took me about an hour to get the composition just right, I wanted to ensure that I had Polaris, the north star, as centered in the lens ball as possible to maximize the star trail. Once I was happy I set up the timelapse. I used my Sony A7Sii camera and my Sony Zeiss 24-70mm Lens at f8 60 sec and an ISO of 6400. I normally wouldn't want to shoot any astrophotography at f8 but since I was after star trails this allowed me to get more detail in the lens ball.