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The Outer Banks in North Carolina has always been a home away from home for us. Whether we’re there to work, spend time with family or for a creative retreat, it’s easy to get caught up in its atmosphere. This time was no different as we made the short three hour drive, cameras not far from reach. Between driving on the beach, walks down the dock and coffee on the porch, we made a trip to the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

I had a unique opportunity this time around. With the new Panasonic DC-S1 mirrorless camera in our kit, I was able to try my hand at astrophotography for the first time. The camera sports a large full-frame sensor allowing for a brighter and cleaner image at high ISO. With the Milky Way moving by right outside our door and over the water, it was the perfect chance to shoot for the stars. Even with the ambient light from surrounding houses, the Milky Way cluster was visible to the naked eye. Where the camera beats our eyesight is in coloration and the density of the Milky Way cloud. Varying between a 15 and 20 second shutter speed, the S1 began to show the millions of stars my eyes couldn’t see.

Despite the countless mosquito bites and pot of coffee I needed in the morning, my first foray into astrophotography was a blast! Made plenty of mistakes in the process but I can’t wait to find a new spot and chase the Milky Way again.