Only a few times every year or two, the stars align to create this image. The moon must be down, the Milky Way has to be int he correct location in the sky, the fog must blanket the Santa Ynez Valley while the upper cloud layer is lear and I must be in the right spot above the fog when it occurs.
Without the absence of the moon and the presence of the fog it would not be dark enough to capture the Milky Way against a dark sky. The Santa Ynez Valley is an ideal climate for the many oaks that live in the region, such as the ones silhouette on this grass covered ridge high up in the San Rafael Mountains.
This image was captured at 2:57AM using Hasselblad 50mp camera with a 28mm F4 lens. The final result is a panoramic of 3 images stitched together using Adobe Photoshop.