Serene Life

by garik

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62

The moon can be a tricky subject. It is a very bright subject compared to the rest of the night sky. It is also a moving subject, and it moves just fast enough that it can be problematic. Its luminosity changes depending on the time of the month. If you wish to capture any other elements in a scene with the moon, exposure can become fairly complicated. ...


58

I found this page while checking my stats on Flickr. (I'm the photographer that shot this photo) I thought I'd respond with details of how I created this image since I see multiple theories here. First - this is not a stacked exposure. The entire image is a single exposure (30 secs). I used a Nikon D700 DSLR at ISO 3200 to capture this image (at ...


52

The approach you take will probably depend on whether you wish to photograph star trails, do short-exposure astrophotography, or long-exposure astrophotography. Star trails are relatively easy to capture, however short and long exposure astrophotography must be done with a little more care. These tips assume you are using a DSLR. Required Gear To take ...


44

I've only shot one, and that was with my Canon 350D with only a 17-85mm lens. Given that I didn't have a particularly long lens, I knew before I went out that I wouldn't be able to get any brilliant close-ups. What I decided beforehand was that some of collage was the most likely option for me. I ended up with just over 20 individual frames of the moon at ...


39

Stars don't show up voluntarily on a photo. You need to tweak them a bit using photo editing tools on a computer. Best if you use RAW file format, and RAW-processing software to do this. JPEGs can be tweaked to show more stars, but with a lot less working room and result being of lesser quality. The likely JPEG image you get with the exposure settings you ...


35

You don't need any special equipment if you're just starting out with astrophotography. So forget about a telescope and an equatorial mount (to counter the earth's rotation) just for now, it's complicated enough already without those things ;). Besides the moon you can take wide field shots of the night sky with your 20D and a normal lens and tripod. I ...


31

Stars move. Like with any other movement, what we care about is how much they move on the sensor during exposure: A movement that occurs only within a single pixel is not a movement the sensor can capture, i.e. the movement appears frozen. But when movement takes a point across several pixels during the exposure, it will be visible as movement blur, in this ...


26

Use the maximum aperture. Shutter Speed: Use the 600/(focal length * crop Factor) rule so as to not see the star trails in your picure (Refer here in section 3. Camera settings). For your 19mm lens you can go up to 20 seconds. Highest ISO possible for your camera that you find the images acceptable. You can use the application: Stellarium to find ...


22

Short of asking Peter Lik himself, or finding he posted the techniques online, I could only speculate on which techniques he actually did use. I am assuming he did post processing. Some possibilities include: Start with a good dark sky location. The Australian outback has a lot of that. Some places elsewhere are also good (at times). Use prime focus ...


21

A very long exposure doesn't help with shots like this due to the rotation of the Earth. Depending on your field of view you can get star trails (where instead of individual points of light you get lines where the stars have moved relative to the camera) with exposures of only 10 seconds. With a wide angle lens you can get away with longer exposures, e.g. 30 ...


19

The moon is still lit by sunlight -- I've had success around the 1/60 second at f/5.6 at ISO 100 in the past -- you'll need to fiddle around there to get settings that work for the amount of high cloud in the way etc. Changing the metering mode can help too - if you can use spot metering, then that should help and if your camera supports exposure ...


19

Noise is a fact of life when it comes to astrophotography, with the exception being stacked deep sky photos taken on a tracking mount (more in a moment). Your photo is actually very low noise, in the grand scheme of wide field, single-frame astrophotography shots that I have seen...but it also lacks saturation. I think it really comes down to a matter of ...


16

A very simple, yet effective method to achieve almost perfect focus is to use a Bahtinov mask. I believe that this is the "mask" that you were referring to. It is a diffraction mask that is placed on the aperture of the telescope, creating three diffraction spikes. When the image is in focus, the three spikes line up perfectly. If it is even slightly out of ...


16

Meteors can be dim or bright, depending on the size, duration, and intensity of their entry. That is generally immaterial to the process of photographing them, however. The first concern of most wide field astrophotographers is ISO, and I think that leads to the frequent use of TOO LOW of an ISO setting. I was also out last night photographing the night sky, ...


15

I would read this article for information on stacking and how to properly stack photos: http://www.naturescapes.net/docs/index.php/category-technical/145-long-exposure-astrophotography. The relevant information is farther down in the article. Looking at your shot, it appears that there is a fair amount blur, I'm guessing due to incorrect auto-tracking? ...


15

It's because that image is only capturing the visible spectrum. Most of the images you see of the sun are capturing the ultraviolet spectrum, where you see some really impressive explosions and coronal ejections: That image was taken from space with a highly specialised scientific camera, but you can capture some details, including prominences using a ...


14

If you have Photoshop, you can create an image stack. This automatically aligns the layers, so this works hand-held, too. It's a nifty trick if you're shooting a static scene without a tripod and have some extra memory space. (I wonder if the auto-alignment would be fooled by star trails, as a significant part of the image will be moving in unison.) Here's ...


14

Are there other techniques or devices that could help? Another technique is stacking multiple short exposures. Pick a moonless night away from city lights. Take many short 20-30 second exposures of the sky. Use something like Hugin to align them. Load them into Photoshop (or Gimp) layers and blend them together. There looks to be a good write up ...


14

Johann3s' answer is good, and covers all the basics. When it comes to the milky way, which is a form of ultra wide field night sky astrophotography, you want to use the highest ISO you can get away with, the longest exposure you can get away with, at the fastest aperture your lens supports. Here is a little bit more detail. The Technicalities Which ISO to ...


13

Also, regarding that link, here's an important quote (emphasis mine): "During the 1998 Leonid shower, I had six cameras going concurrently with 16mm, 18mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm lenses. I shot 5 - 10 minute exposures consecutively for about 5 hours. I ended up with about 30 frames per camera, for a total of 180 frames. I recorded 3 meteors. One was ...


13

In order to photograph the milkyway you want to capture as much light as possible within a certain timeframe. This means: Highest ISO you think is acceptable with your body Widest aperture Shutter speed as long as possible, without setting it too long so you can see the movement So looking at your settings, indeed the aperture could have been wider, ...


12

tripod. Use your lowest ISO (50 or 100). I always use a cable release to avoid vibration in the camera. You'll get circular trails if you point the camera at Polaris (the north star; assuming northern hemisphere here); pointing it at something interesting and just letting the trails happen is fine. exposure length is something to experiment with, start at ...


12

The Moon has a lot of great contrast, unfortunately this makes a single shutter speed and a single exposure non-optimal. You will want to take as many frames as you can...start with around 24, taking a couple of hundred is not unheard of...or crazy talk...more is better. For your shutter speed take some test images at various speeds until you have three ...


12

Photographing the moon in general can be difficult, as at any reasonably long focal length that will capture useful detail, the moon literally races across the sky. Using a telescope with a camera adapter will probably provide better results than a telephoto camera lens, however both are options. A telescope on a proper mount will likely provide much greater ...


12

There are some DIY options out there, and not all that hard to make if you're willing to spend some time and have attention to detail. The simplest forms are the "barn door" mounts which are basically two pieces of hinged wood with a screw that it is turned on an interval to compensate for the Earth's motion. Anyways, Catching the Light has a writeup of all ...


12

Well, the gist is - it depends on how picky you are about trails. It will almost always start to trail immediately, but it may not be noticeable until a certain point. Additionally, forget normal exposure rules for astrophotography. It's generally about getting the most light in that you can. The odds of overexposure are pretty slim unless you're in a ...


12

Let me answer the question by amalgamating suggestions made by several posters throughout the already provided answers and comments. Hopefully these suggestions taken together will help yield the best possible results. - Know where the Milky Way is Obviously, knowing which way to point the camera is important, but actually spotting the Milky Way with your ...


12

With regard to reasonably bright stellar objects: technically, yes. With regard to dimmer objects like those that make up most of what we mean when we say "The Milky Way": practically speaking, no. In addition to the phase of the Moon, which determines the overall amount of light falling on the atmosphere above a specific location on the Earth's surface, ...


12

The largest galaxy (other than the Milky Way) in the sky is that of the Andromeda galaxy and is clearly visible in the night sky of the northern hemisphere with the naked eye - if you know where to look (and realize that fuzzy thing is just lots of stars). The apparent dimensions of the galaxy is 190' x 60' (or about 3° x 1°). To put that in context, the ...



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