By Michael Scott
A part-time Milky Way hunter has caught breathtaking night skies right on his doorstep.
Stephen Banks who moved to Bridport, Dorset from Liverpool in 2011 has spent the last six years photographing stunning the Milky Way across the county in his spare time.
The 28-year-old marketing director hopes his stunning shots of the Milky Way above Dorset’s tourist attractions such as Durdle Door will encourage more tourists to the region.
Stephen said: “As soon as I moved to Dorset, I realised how beautiful the landscapes are here.
“I spent a couple of years photographing the landscapes in both the daytime and the night, but quickly found my niche once I started capturing the Milky Way in my images.
“Dorset has fantastic spots for stargazing, coupled with iconic landmarks like Durdle Door and Clavell Tower at Kimmeridge.
“I have been capturing the night skies of Dorset for six years now, with each year producing improved results.
“It wasn’t until focusing on single still photographs of the night sky that I realised that there are plenty of places in the UK where you can capture the Milky Way quite easily in a photograph.
“In some of the darkest parts of Dorset, at the right time of the year, you can easily see the Milky Way with your naked eye.
“I’ve had a number of people enquire about the best places to visit in Dorset for stargazing, and even asking about accommodation, so it’s nice to know I’m contributing, albeit in a very small way, to the bigger tourism picture for Dorset.
“A lot of planning goes into each shoot. I will first visit a location to get a lie of the land, assess any hazards and ensure that I’m not trespassing or breaking the law by being there!”