Incense

by Bart Arondson

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44

The Technique Stable Tripod is a must if you want to be able to compose. If you want exposures over 30 seconds, use Bulb mode, as most of the cameras only meter up to 30 seconds. Use small apertures, low ISO and add ND filters if there is too much light. You probably want your sensor to be clean also as small apertures will render the dust relatively ...


44

This appears to be a beautiful example of Fraunhofer diffraction. It is due to the wave nature of light. The effect depends on the wavelength (that is, the color). It is most pronounced when bright light from a practically infinite distance passes through narrow slits, causing the light to spread perpendicular to the slits. This spreads a point-like beam ...


33

Considering the relatively long exposure time, I would say this is an airliner flying over. You can see how the lights flash on alternate wings. The central line is likely some other, steady light on the undercarriage.


26

I think there a several reasons that together make sense to limit the shutter speed at about 30 seconds. At exposures requiring more than 30 seconds, light is so weak your TTL meter will not be able to measure it correctly. 30 seconds is already longer than you'd ever need for any "normal" night scene. In a digital camera, sensor heat starts to build up ...


22

I see two options: You can stack ND filters. Sounds like you just need to eke out another stop or four, so your second filter doesn't have to be quite as extreme as the 9-stop filter you already have. By only having two filters, rather than 3, you should be able to reduce the vignetting a bit. It would help if your filters were the slim kind designed for ...


21

At light levels this low, you'll be much better off by taking some test shots and checking their histograms rather than just relying on a light meter (which is usually optimized for measuring light, not darkness). However, you can make the test shots take less time. Perform the test shots at the maximum ISO your camera can handle (avoid the uncalibrated ...


21

I believe this has to do with Long Exposure Noise Reduction. To cancel out noise the camera will close the shutter and take an equally long exposure again, this time capturing a black image with only the electrical noise on it. This information is then used to reduce the noise on the original exposure. In the camera settings you can disable the Noise ...


20

A Neutral Density (ND) filter is a filter that reduces the amount of light captured by the camera evenly across the visible spectrum. As such, it looks grey to black (depending on the filtration power) and does not cast color on the received image (like blue or yellow, e.g., filters will do). When using a ND filter, there is a need to compensate for the ...


19

When you move the camera down, the light source moves up on the film/sensor plane - just as if you look at something, then look down, the object you were looking at will be above your field of view (i.e. you'll have to look up again to see it). So if you trace a V shape from top left to bottom to top right, the light source will move from bottom right to top ...


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 ...


18

Camera sensors (see this article for an overview) consist of a very large number of individual sensor elements, each of which can be regarded as a bucket that collects photons. These buckets have a maximum number of photons they can capture before they become full, which is called being saturated (this is when the highlights clip). This maximum capacity is ...


17

From a functional standpoint, yes, you could essentially achieve the same effect with multiple stacked filters as a single high-density filter (say a 10-stopper.) There are a variety of concerns to be aware of, however, regarding stacking multiple filters. Filter quality: The Lee "Big Stopper" 10-stop ND filter is pretty high quality glass filter There ...


17

that purple haze is probably a color cast caused by the glass itself; the welders glass often isn't neutral color. you should be looking at solar filters, or very dark (and probably stacked) ND filters. Thousand Oaks sells solar filters, to name one company.


15

Firstly, what is a neutral density filter? "Neutral density" just means that the filter is a pure shade of grey: it shouldn't (if well manufactured) add any colour tint to your photographs. There are two main types of neutral density (ND) filters: graduated and non-graduated. Graduated ND filters are darker at one edge and lighter (usually completely ...


15

As a general rule, exposure time depends directly on the amount of available light. So if you measure the time needed for some exposure at early dawn, it would probably be bigger than the time needed after the sun rises. Assuming you want to capture the atmosphere and colors of a sunrise or sunset, the amount of light would probably be too much for a really ...


15

The Olympus OM-D EM-5 can display the cumulative collection of light in a long exposure. But there is another way to test long exposure that takes much less time and works with almost any digital camera. Start out by setting your camera to the highest ISO setting it has, open the aperture of your lens as wide as it will go and start with short exposures ...


14

You're looking for ND (as in Neutral Density) filter. They're usually marked as ND2, ND4, ND8, ..., each step indicating 1-stop change in your exposure settings. For example if you were shooting at f/2,8, 1/100, ISO100 then adding ND2 filter will give you options to shoot either at f/2,0, 1/100, ISO100 or f/2,8, 1/50, ISO100. Most of recognized filter ...


14

It's effective. Basically, the camera can use the second, dark frame, to subtract signal out of the first frame, so it definitely gets used in RAW. In fact, if you try it, you'll discover that you end up with only one RAW image as the DFS image is discarded after use. On this topic, however, I'd note that you want to use this carefully. If you're doing long ...


14

Take a tripod and experiment! Different displays will suit different settings. Is it going to be mainly rockets, or will there be roman candles? Is the scenery worth capturing? And etc. From experience you're going to want a tripod as your exposures won't be in the handheld range. I would also err toward very long exposures and shoot often — you're more ...


14

In addition to the tripod I use a remote to trigger exposures around 8 second. Or you could set it to 'bulb' (or the equivalent on your camera) and click to open and close the shutter manually with the remote, so you can capture the action you desire. I've shot fireworks at 200 ISO, no need to go higher, in my experience. In fact I stop down the aperture to ...


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

If anything, the longer the exposure, the less detail you will get, because it gives things more time to move. Even when you're looking at a "still" landscape scene, the tree branches may be moving a bit, water will be rippling, clouds will be slowly scudding across the sky... A few of my all-time favorite photos are technically marred because of this. ...


14

Light Trails This style of photography is often referred to as light trails. Photoshop is not necessarily needed. Effects like this can be achieved on a single photograph without multiple exposures. 1. You need darkness for this style. Even though the photo may end up looking light, absolute darkness is needed do this sort of photography. Usually this ...


14

Obviously, there was still way too much light getting onto your sensor despite the tiny aperture. Methods to avoid that: First, make sure your ISO setting is as low as possible. Use Tv (shutter priority) mode instead of manual, then choose the shutter speed you want and let the camera adjust everything else to get normal exposure. If that is not possible ...


13

It's due to diffraction where the aperture blades meet as stated by John and Pearsonartphoto. It's a neat way to test how many aperture blades you have! To answer your second question, the length of the exposure doesn't directly affect the effect. There are two main factors, the first is the size of the aperture (it needs to be small), and long exposures ...


13

This isn't uncommon to see when you have a UV filter attached to the lens which, generally, a lot of people do because it gets recommended by the camera store as lens protection. If you want a really detailed explanation, there's one on Luminous Landscape showing and explaining the issue. My take, and it's a personal opinion, is to lose the UV filter if you ...


13

Well, perhaps you should have gone out after all :) The noise is thermal noise, which will become noticeable as your sensor heats up during a long exposure. In astrophotography, it's quite a common problem. Some ways to reduce such noise: cool sensor down, e.g. by shooting in the cold weather. Note that cold also negatively affects battery life. set the ...


13

Yes it is possible with all DSLRs. The 30s limit of all non-Olympus DSLRs is for timed exposures, meaning you dial in the time ahead of time and the exposure takes up to 30s (or 60s for Olympus). All DSLRs also have a bulb mode which you press the shutter to start the exposure and let go when you are done. This can also be done with a remote control which ...



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