Seeing the Milky Way with your own eyes is a life-changing, mind-blowing experience. It will put your place within the universe in to perspective and remind you just how small and insignificant we all are. The sad part is that most people have never seen it. Over half of our planet’s population lives in cities where seeing the Milky Way is all but impossible. Even when people get out of the city and have a good view of the stars, they usually don’t focus on them long enough to find the Milky Way. It’s something that you either stumble onto by accident, or something that you have to plan ahead of time. Here’s a few quick tips for getting the Milky Way in your viewfinder and exposing it properly – your guide to Milky Way photography. Research, Research, Research Benjamin Franklin said so brilliantly that, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. And it was Antoine de Saint-Exupéry that said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. So it goes with Milky Way photography. Sure, you can make a point to go out at night and see what you can find, but chances are you will be wasting your time. The Milky Way by Hemispheres The Milky Way is only visible in your respective hemisphere during certain months of the year. If you’re in the northern hemisphere your best time to photograph the Milky Way is in the summer, with July being the peak month. Unfortunately, the summer months aren’t typically the best times for clear skies because of the heat and the clouds from all the storm systems. Summer nights are also short, therefore limiting access further to the night sky. Folks in the southern hemisphere have it better, with the winter months being the best time. More via Digital Photography School.