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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 ...


26

Along with weighing down the tripod, using a cable to release the shutter will help reduce camera movement. Also, if you want to guarantee no mirror shake happens during the exposure, hold a black object in front of the lens while triggering the shot, then pull it away for the duration of your exposure.


24

They are not uniform but they all show the same bright-dim-bright pattern. One explanation is that this is a composite picture of several exposures and that the middle exposure(s) was/were dimmed a bit to compensate for a brighter subject (booster separation).


22

Mirror slap is an issue in "medium" long exposures - from 1/30 or so til about a second or two. Tripod shake is issue in "long" long exposures - from about a second upwards. For shooting stars you can safely forget about the mirror slap. It will last about a second of the four hours exposure. Nothing of importance will be captured in such a short time. ...


19

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 ...


17

Mirror slap will last some fraction of a second. This is completely irrelevant in a multi hour exposure. Weighing down your tripod is a good idea nonetheless, since movement from wind will be a bigger risk.


14

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, like ...


12

There's always the old Hat Trick: Take your hat (or anything blocking light, a piece of cardboard, the dew cap of your lens etc.). Hold it in front of the lens to prevent light to reach your film. With the hat still in place, release your camera's shutter. Wait until mirror slap and tripod shake have faded. Remove the hat without disturbing the camera. You ...


10

Simple answer to your main question is: The Dynamic-range of the sensors of current digital camera is not yet a match for the dynamic range of human eye's sensor (aka retina). Detailed answer of "how to bring it up" will bring all the techniques on the table. The majors are: Widest possible aperture on lens, if possible f/1.8 or f/1.4 Widest angle: To ...


9

It is probably easier to talk about what qualities in a lens that often add significant cost that you don't need in order to do astrophotography. The first is Auto Focus. Stars are such tiny points of light that the accuracy of most AF systems is not quite good enough to resolve them to the absolute sharpest capability of the lens. Most AF systems can't ...


9

An equatorial mount and a computer controlled mount are two different things. A mount can also be both. A equatorial mount has one axis aligned with the spin of the earth (pointed towards Polaris for those north of the equator.) A computer controlled mount is a mount that knows where the objects in the sky are. You can say, "point at Jupiter" and it will ...


8

Are those other planets or other stars? Or is that a lens effect? Looks to me like a planet and some moons. I don't know where you are, but Jupiter has been very bright in the night sky lately in my neighborhood, and with a long enough lens it's not hard to see some of its moons. Seen through a sufficiently powerful telescope, a planet looks very different ...


8

The example image in your question is probably affected by geometric distortion which is a property of the lens' projection of an image of a three dimensional world onto a two-dimensional image plane. This distortion is exaggerated by placing the axis of rotation off-center in the frame. The "wild" looking images at the link in the question appear to have ...


8

Looks to me like you might have forgotten to turn off image stabilisation in camera and/or lens. Image stabilisation uses acceleration sensors to estimate movement/shake of the camera/lens and then moves optical elements or the sensor to compensate. On a tripod, this does more harm than benefit since errors in the estimated movement accumulate and cause the ...


7

The "basic gear" is a digital camera and tripod. Point the camera at the sky for 30s with the aperture wide open at the maximum ISO setting. With the right atmospheric conditions and location you can get some surprisingly good results. Moving on from there a DSLR with RAW support (the 60D is fine) fast lens (such as a 50mm f/1.8) is advisable, as well as an ...


7

Finnish night sky is now dark enough to photograph stars (it is September now) so I went to try my first shots at stars. I have never tried to take a photo of stars before. My photos turned out even darker than yours, but I was more daring with my post-processing and I think I now know what is wrong with your photo. Post-processing! Naturally that is not ...


7

I don't think this is a tripod stability problem. The star trails are all straight, not wiggly as they would be if the camera where moving during or between each exposure. The dimmer stars are easy to see as nine distinct dots. None of the dots indicate camera movement during any of the nine exposures, and none of the lines of the nine dots for each star are ...


7

I agree with the comments made by JohannesD. It is easy to see that your tripod moved, when you magnify the picture of the stars. You can clearly see that the star trails are not small circle segments, instead they have an irregular curvature which is indicative of tripod movement instead of the usual trail casued by the rotation of the Earth. It is ...


7

shined a light to focus on foreground beforehand If you focused on the foreground then the most likely explanation is that the stars are blurry because they are out of focus, at f/4 the depth of field is not sufficient to contain both the foreground and the stars (which are effectively at "infinity" or as far away as you can get). I would recommend you try ...


6

This technique is called "Startrails" and you don't need to have a special camera. All you need is: - tripod - time-lapse control to shoot lot's of photos - fast lens (large aperture) - compass - startrails software (it's called Startrails.exe and you can find here) Your camera will shoot for a long time (it depends how is the effect do you wanna get, in ...


6

Don't use in-camera white balance. Have the camera produce a raw file, then you take it from there. You can measure the white balance of your sensor ahead of time, then use that correction for the star image. For something like stars, I'd use sunlight as the white reference. Put another way, sun-like stars will appear white and other stars will have ...


6

You don't need to use the widest aperture. In fact, in many cases, using the widest aperture for astrophotography can result in very poor quality stars. If you are doing wide field untracked imaging (i.e. milky way imaging), then you can usually get away with using maximum aperture, and the larger aperture allows you to use shorter exposures, which reduces ...


6

The second question is clear, stars need some time to (apparently) move in the sky. The celestial sphere is rotating at 15 degrees/hour around poles (Polaris on North hemisphere) and the apparent movement is bigger near the celestial equator and smaller near celestial poles. But this movement is really a big problem if you want to take sharp photos of ...


6

A-B stands for Amber-Blue. This is your color temperature/Kelvin scale, and is primarily what you will be concerned with for your star trails. G-M stands for Green-Magenta, and is used to correct for color cast stemming from artificial light sources which do not very evenly emit all wavelengths of visible light. For example old fluorescent lights are ...


5

In Nikon DLSRs, including the D7000, there is image-processing software that removes noise and hot pixels, and this software has come to be known as "the star eater" because it interprets isolated bright pixels as noise and removes them or averages them into the background. Isolated bright pixels, of course, are kind of what you want to see when you're ...


5

I don't think there is a way to do it automatically outside of writing your own plugin and I'm actually not even 100% sure that that would do it. For partially manual options though, use the rating filter on the previous import collection, set it to less than or equal to no stars and you will only have the unrated photos listed. Then select them all and ...


5

I also have a D5100 and the Tokina 11-16 which I use for wide angle night shots. There are several separate cases that I have encountered in my experience: a) Night shot with stars, and terrestrial foreground elements (trees, buildings etc) b) Night shot with terrestrial foreground elements where I DO desire star trails c) Night shots with terrestrial ...


5

At least three things conspired against you in that photo: The comparatively brightly-lit foreground. The clouds. Their movement during the exposure works to obstruct even more of the sky. The moon! It is suprisingly bright, especially when close to full as it was yesterday. Move away from artificial lights, especially the sort of horrible sodium vapor ...


5

As WayneF commented in your question, it looks like you took the picture too early in the evening. The EXIF data indicates you took it at 8:49 PM DST in late August. You are probably in the period called astronomical twilight, defined as when the sun is between 12˚ and 18˚ below the horizon. Wait a bit longer, and the sky should be as dark as it's going to ...


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