My best Milky Way photo, with horizon & context
Lower light levels, better image making! No pesky circular images of stars either. It looks really good full-screen with black outlines. After, uh, 2 weeks, I realize this one is the best.
Auto exposure gives very different results to a black sky compared to the marginal city lights in the distance... the frame "above" this one has no descernable Milky Way, while the vertical format exposure, that included part of the wall of the condos, got a far long exposure and was usable in a panorama.. unintended consequences indeed!
The lessons here, - learn to set manual exposure, - set the tripod in a stable place that doesn't bounce, - don't walk around in any event, just in case. Easy stuff. I knew all that, I'll do better next time.
This is so much better than frame 009, what I thought of as my first success, that I've removed frame 009 from most of the groups it was in, and substituted this one.
Here's a nice map at the same perspective: www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellations/skycharts/sag.gif
Google gives my location here as 36.87301,-121.822777; 36.87 degrees North, 121.82 degrees West. Local time was between midnight and 1:00am.