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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 ~20mm/f2.8)....


51

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 ...


44

The vast majority of night sky photos have been boosted in post to achieve their brightness. This is more true for cameras with smaller sensors than for cameras with larger sensors, but in general, even if you shoot the night sky at ISO 3200, you are going to need to boost exposure to get one of those nice, bright single-frame Milky Way shots. There are a ...


43

@Michael Clark and @Itai have provided good answers. A few more thoughts from the perspective of the enthusiastic amateur: Tracking technology isn't perfect and sometimes its better to work within the practical limitations of the tracking available rather than push it too far Very long exposures may not play well with high levels of light pollution. There's ...


42

Whenever light passes a boundary, it diffracts, or bends, due to the wavelike property of light interacting with that boundary. An aperture in an optical system, typically circular or circle-like, is one such boundary. How light interacts with the aperture is described by the point spread function (PSF), or how much and to what degree a point source of ...


41

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 ...


34

What makes the difference on partially and fully visible moon? In a word: shadows. I cannot understand why the IQ is extremely diminished when doing the same with an almost fully visible moon. The second image does appear to suffer from lower sharpness and overall quality. However, even if the technical image quality factors were equal, most importantly,...


34

1) To capture more stars, go somewhere where there is less light pollution. If you can't see the north star, you aren't going to get much. I can't see the north star from my front yard, so attempting to shoot stars is hopeless. 2) If a longer shutter speed resulted in plain white, then the light pollution overwhelmed the image.


33

Because the distance from Earth to each of the other planets varies due to orbital mechanics, the size of each planet as seen from Earth can vary significantly. Which planet is the largest and the order of relative sizes changes frequently. For example, right now as of April 1, 2018 the following are the angular sizes of the planets as viewed from Earth: ...


32

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 ...


32

To achieve what you're thinking of you would have to know what the noise was. If you knew what the noise was then you could just remove that to get clean images.


30

I had exactly the same problem when I first tried to photograph the moon: all I ever got was an overexposed white circle. The answer is that the moon is much brighter than you realise. Also, unless you have a very telescopic lens, it's going to be pretty small in your photo. If you use one of the camera's automatic modes, the camera will try to get the "...


26

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 ...


26

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 ...


24

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, ...


24

Normally Jupiter is easily the largest seen from Earth, but depending on orbits, it could sometimes be Venus (next time in September, and then next in 2020). This site will answer about details relative to exact date: https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/planets/distance


23

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

I have taken a few years to perfect my moon shots. Many nights stood out in the cold!! On the months where the full moon is not obscured by cloud!! Here is what I do: You need a long lens! The moon may look large in the sky, but it will still be a dot in your viewfinder! Here is one instance where megapixels still count - as for the same reason above ...


20

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, ...


19

Image stacking works to reduce noise because the noise is random — or at least, ideally so — while the stars are (famously) constant. That means that (once you've corrected for rotation) the stars will be in every photo. But noise — at least, the kinds of noise that this can correct for — is already random fluctuations... maybe there in one image, and not ...


18

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 ...


18

It is firstly because we can now. Bulb photography can indeed shoot exposures of minutes to several hours, depending on the camera. Using a film camera, astrophotography is done with very long exposures and those cameras have no time limit since they do not need power to operate. A digital camera can be used in the same way but most mirrorless limit bulb ...


18

The main advantage of stacking is to average out the randomized Poisson distribution "shot noise" that can be a problem in low light images such as astrophotography. Another advantage for stacking comes in using dedicated monochrome imaging sensors while alternating color (or specialized astronomy related) filters over the entire sensor for each exposure and ...


18

You need more than an ND filter and a polarizer. You need a solar filter specifically designed for imaging the sun. The danger to your eyes and camera are very real if you are pointing the unprotected or underprotected camera at the sun. Most ND filters and polarizers only block visible light. The sun emits very high levels of UV and infrared radiation as ...


18

Shoot when there is no moon in the sky. e.g. Near the "New Moon" or "Last Quarter Moon" if shooting after sunset. Get away from urban light pollution. I've generated a simulated field of view (using Sky Safari Pro) for your Nikon & 50mm lens (the blue box is the field of view) and approximated your section of the sky: You can see a few faint objects ...


17

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: (source: caltech.edu) That image was taken from space with a highly specialised scientific camera, but you can capture some details, including ...


15

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 ...


15

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 ...


15

When it comes to night sky photography and stacking, there is no real substitute for actual SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio). You can virtually improve SNR by stacking hundreds of very short exposures (like stacking 720 10-second exposures), but the result will never quite be the same as if you stack say forty 3-minute exposures. Stacking a bunch of 30 second ...


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