Milky Way over the Bridges of Madison County

Milky Way over Roseman Bridge 29Jul2022
Milky Way over Roseman Covered Bridge, Madison County, Iowa; 29 July 2022

Capture Notes

On the drive back from EAA2022, we spent Friday night in Des Moines with the intention of photographing the Milky Way over the Roseman, Holliwell, and Hogback Covered Bridges. We did the reconnaissance trip upon arriving in Des Moines to verify routes to each bridge. Left the hotel at 2130CDT captured all three bridges from 2230 – 0200CDT.

At Roseman, there were two other photographers already there when we arrived who stayed throughout the time that we were there. Their presence precluded me from being able to light paint the bridge, forced me to set up off-center to the bridge opening, and cast shadows into my images from their autofocuser. All to say – this image could be better – and hopefully will be with the data collected on the way to EAA 2023.

At Holliwell and Hogback I was there alone, so was able to experiment with light painting the bridges to highlight them in the scene. The best result, in most cases came from blending a single light-painted exposure with the Sequator stack of the Milky Way, although as you can see below, I need to spend some time practicing my light-painting skills (i.e., to be more subtle and less spotlighty…)


Imaging stream: Canon EOS 5DSR; Sigma 14mm 1:1.8 DG lens
Sequence Control: Pixel Pro TW-283 N3 Wireless Shutter Remote Control Timer and Shutter Release

Capture & Processing

Exposure Settings: At each location, set up and composed framing with ISO6400, 15sec exposures. Once composed, set ISO3200, 15sec, f2.0 exposures and captured a series of images.

Roseman ISO3200: SBRA4125 – SBRA4174; Captured 29Jul2022 2238 – 2254CST
Roseman ISO6400: SBRA4175 – SBRA4186; Captured 29Jul2022 2255 – 2159CST

Holliwell ISO3200: SBRA4194 – SBRA4247; Captured 29Jul2022 2346 – 30Jul2022 0005CST
Holliwell ISO1600: SBRA4248 – SBRA4279; Captured 30Jul2022 0005 – 0016 CST

Hogback ISO3200: SBRA4285 – SBRA4337; Captured 30Jul2022 0043 – 0101 CST
Hogback ISO1600: SBRA4338 – SBRA4368; Captured 30Jul2022 0101 – 0111 CST
Hogback ISO6400: SBRA4284(framing), SBRA4369 – SBRA4385; Captured 30Jul2022 0112 – 0118 CST

Capture: 29 July 2022
Shooting location: Roseman, Holliwell, Hogback Covered Bridges; Madison County, Iowa
Processing: Stacked using Sequator by target and ISO; then processed in LR (using Alyn Wallace Lightroom presets) and PS (for warping the bridges and spot healing).

Milky Way Holliwell Bridge 29Jul2022
Milky Way over Holliwell Covered Bridge, Madison County, Iowa; 29 July 2022
Milky Way over Hogback Covered Bridge 29Jul2022
Milky Way over Hogback Covered Bridge, Madison County, Iowa; 29 July 2022