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Night shot including milky way. Any tricks?

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by weltweit, Jun 24, 2017.

  1. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I haven't really spent much time thinking about it yet but I am often impressed with night shots featuring the milky way above some point of interest on the ground.

    The most recent one I saw was that, above Durdle Door.

    What are the considerations to take into account for achieving such an image?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  2. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Answering part of my own question, I suppose I have to know that it will be there when I am. Off to look at the photographers ephemeris to see if that would help there :)
     
  3. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    Use a tripod
     
    Chemical needs likes this.
  4. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    The Photographer's Ephemeris: Announcing The Photographer's Ephemeris 3D

    Looks like I am not in luck there quite yet. :(
     
  5. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Thanks ..
     
  6. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    Yeh you're welcome
     
  7. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

  8. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Thanks RoyReed, those look nice.

    eta: I see he is saying a 20s exposure and using flash to light the ground interest.

    I think I know that really long exposures are out because it is all moving and all I would get is trails.

    The TPE is saying a moonless night and low light pollution.

    If I use high ISO I may get too much noise, there must bet a sweet spot between low iso long exposure and higher is faster shutter.
     
  9. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

    Oh, and February to September on a clear night with a new moon in a location with no light pollution, point camera to the south (if you're shooting in the UK).
     
    weltweit likes this.
  10. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

  11. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Is it always in the south? My knowledge of the stars is well, pretty non existant :)
     
  12. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

    Yes, if you're in the northern hemisphere. Same with the sun, moon or planets - they always appear in the southern half of the sky (with the exception of just before setting or just after rising when they might creep above due east/west).
     
  13. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

  14. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I am going to need some ground based items of interest for this :)
     
  15. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

    For the first time I'd just concentrate on getting the sky right.

    Take a torch with a dark red filter (just tape on some red sellophane) so you don't mess up your night vision once your eyes get adapted to the dark.

    And make sure you fully charge your camera batteries (you do have a spare don't you) as the long exposures will drain it more quickly.

    And dress warm - it'll be cold at three in the morning even on the hottest summer's day.
     
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  16. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I have two sets of batteries yes, I didn't know about the red torch thing so that is a neat idea. Is there any reason you say 3am RoyReed, could I not get the same shot at 11pm?
     
  17. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

    You might be OK with 11pm in February, but for most of the summer it'll only just be fully dark then. I wouldn't think of starting before about midnight. And although you can get a completely clear night sky at any time of year it's more likely in the summer.
     
  18. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Aha, I understand what you mean now, yes I suppose I have to have proper darkness.
     
  19. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    So in summary, high ISO (in my case 1600 is max) a wide fast lens (20mm f2.8, actually not so wide on a crop sensor), 20 second exposure or perhaps more for me as I don't have that high an iso, pointing to the south (I may need to get a compass), when the sky is fully dark (clear of clouds and no or only a small moon), ideally away from street or city light pollution, and using a red torch so as not to spoil night vision.

    I think you are right RR about trying to get a sky shot to work before worrying about on the ground interest.
     
  20. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

    Yes, you really do. And allow half an hour for your eyes to fully adapt.

    When you look at the sky, be aware that your peripheral vision will be better for night vision than the centre of your field of view. This is because the fovea has almost no rod cells which are the ones that see in black and white and are much more sensitive to low light. After a while you can get used to looking at stars just outside the centre of your field of view.
     
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  21. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I suppose for a sky shot I can set the lens to infinity which will deal with focussing.

    I am going to have to check the cloud cover on Friday and Saturday nights, and work out a suitable location, not too far away, for minimum ambient night light pollution.

    eta: and I need to check for non moonlight nights, I wonder if my sailing buddies would know about that..
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  22. RoyReed

    RoyReed Must fly!

    Photographer's ephemeris will tell you this.
     
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  23. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  24. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I forgot a tip. If I am going to have to wait for a moonless night without clouds, to drive perhaps for some time to a special location and spend most of the night there making pictures. And it is possible these conditions might not recur for months, shoot raw!
     
  25. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Yes, but don't do it manually. Just autofocus on something far away but still on the same planet, it's effectively the same.
     
  26. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I doubt there will be that much to focus on in the middle of the night :)

    Having trouble getting a raw file converter for my Fuji Finepix S2 Pro RAF files. At least there are some but none of them are free. I am stingy having shot jpeg so long and being about to upgrade.
    eta no it is fine Elements 9 will open them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  27. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Also, star location and movement is entirely predictable given a date, time and location. So there's a load of software that can do things like eliminate or extend trails and build up composite shots from multiple shorter exposures. I haven't used them myself but things like DeepSkyStacker are worth a look.
     
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  28. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Any distant visible object will work and be easier to focus on than stars, and by 'distant' we're really talking a handful of metres, depending on the lens. You can probably illuminate something suitable with the AF assist light.
     
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  29. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    That sounds interesting.

    I also want to shoot the rotation of the stars at some point above some point of interest on the ground and while I have bulb mode on my camera I have been advised noise will buildup and that it might be better to take a series of shots and blend them in PS.
     
  30. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Yes, this is good advice.
     

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