While exploring State Forest State Park north of Rocky Mountain National Park my wife and I hiked to Lake Agnes. It was a short easy hike with minimal elevation gain (.8 miles and 485 ft gain). This was not really a scouting trip for Milky Way, but when we arrived I pulled out my phone and started PhotoPills. I was able to determine that the Milky Way central core would sit between the saddle of two peaks at the south end of the lake around 11:00 that night. We had planned to head home that afternoon but fortunately, with the help of Park Manager Joe Brand, we were able to get a campsite in the Crags campground near the trailhead. We setup camp, grabbed food and warm clothes and headed back up for sunset. Just as expected the Milky Way rose and aligned between the peaks as PhotoPills told me it would. I made an exposure at 70s/f2.8/ISO 1600 for the lake and mountains then an exposure of 20 seconds for the sky. I did a bit of post in Lightroom and blended the exposures in Photoshop. Oh yes, I also used Topaz Mask AI to separate the land image for blending with the sky. This is the result. For some reason the halo where the land and sky are blended is much more apparent after uploading here than it appears on my screen in Lightroom. I know my technique needs to be stronger in this area.
I use a Nikon D810 with a full spectrum modification for Astrophotography done by Spencer's Camera. My night photography lens is the Nikon 14-24. I'm pretty new at Milky Way photography but love being out in the night when it's quiet and the magnificent night sky is awash in stars.