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Night shot including milky way. Any tricks?

weltweit

Well-Known Member
Frustratingly tonight suddenly might be the last chance for a while (there is almost a new moon and in the last couple of hours the sky has become cloudless) the season for milky way shots is coming to an end, but I can't go out tonight :(
 

weltweit

Well-Known Member
Am I right in thinking this time of year the milky way has largely fallen below the horizon in the northern hemisphere, making photographing it less worthwhile?
 

2hats

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No. Visible right across the sky E to W through the zenith this very minute in the UK (indicated by the thin white arc - the galactic equator):
sky_view.png
Well, if it were clear.
 

weltweit

Well-Known Member
Hi 2hats don't know where I picked that up then, I was sure I was told that it was between May and September the best views were available.

Great if not, I am off to Brecon soon where there is little light pollution.

I don't understand your graphic, what does it mean?
 

2hats

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Hi 2hats don't know where I picked that up then, I was sure I was told that it was between May and September the best views were available.

Great if not, I am off to Brecon soon where there is little light pollution.
Some part of the Milky Way can always be seen from the UK, it’s just that the more rich areas accessible to northern hemisphere dwellers are visible in the summer. The portion in the northern winter skies is more dim, a little less exciting. Maybe that just makes for more of a challenge to photograph though.
I don't understand your graphic, what does it mean?
The white arc through the centre from west to east is the path of the Milky Way ie the plane of the galactic equator projected on our sky (it’s a sky map for now, tonight).
 

weltweit

Well-Known Member
Some part of the Milky Way can always be seen from the UK, it’s just that the more rich areas accessible to northern hemisphere dwellers are visible in the summer. The portion in the northern winter skies is more dim, a little less exciting. Maybe that just makes for more of a challenge to photograph though.
Hmm. I don't have any complex kit, so it is one or more single shots for me. I might be able to blend a series of photos, I believe there is free software available for that.

I have seen that the best photos of it seem to be blends of many images, also with a rotating camera mount.
The white arc through the centre from west to east is the path of the Milky Way ie the plane of the galactic equator projected on our sky (it’s a sky map for now, tonight).
I noticed north is at the bottom. Confused me a little.
 

weltweit

Well-Known Member
2hats Will the MW still be in the southern part of the sky this time of year?

Because even with 30 minutes getting used to the dark I couldn't see it with the naked eye last time I was out. My camera could see it fine once I had worked out which bit of the sky to point it at, but I couldn't see it on my own.
 

Signal 11

also programmed for conversational english
I noticed north is at the bottom. Confused me a little.
It helps to imagine those diagrams on the inside of an umbrella so the direction labels go all around the horizon.

Will the MW still be in the southern part of the sky this time of year?
Cygnus, which was in the image you posted before is close to the horizon in the NW now. And on the opposite side the MW is near Orion in the SE.

this is worth a read on the winter milky way.

Orion is always a good subject at this time of year. It's a good time for star trails too with the long nights. And you could have a go at capturing some meteors with the Leonids about now and the Geminids in the middle of December.
 

weltweit

Well-Known Member
It helps to imagine those diagrams on the inside of an umbrella so the direction labels go all around the horizon.
Can't seem to get my head around it :)

Cygnus, which was in the image you posted before is close to the horizon in the NW now. And on the opposite side the MW is near Orion in the SE.

this is worth a read on the winter milky way.
Great article, thanks for the link. Most interesting, I am going to be in Brecon in the new year, I hope for a clear night.

Orion is always a good subject at this time of year. It's a good time for star trails too with the long nights. And you could have a go at capturing some meteors with the Leonids about now and the Geminids in the middle of December.
Thanks. I do plan a circular star trail at some point, perhaps an hour with the shutter open if I can figure out decent settings. Or I could do shorter exposures and blend them I don't yet know which will be the best option.
 

Signal 11

also programmed for conversational english
I do plan a circular star trail at some point, perhaps an hour with the shutter open if I can figure out decent settings. Or I could do shorter exposures and blend them I don't yet know which will be the best option.
I'd always use shorter ones and stack them. That way you can do some quick test shots to make sure you're getting what you want first. And I'd be surprised if you could go anywhere near an hour in one exposure with a dslr.
 

weltweit

Well-Known Member
I'd always use shorter ones and stack them. That way you can do some quick test shots to make sure you're getting what you want first. And I'd be surprised if you could go anywhere near an hour in one exposure with a dslr.
Aha, why do you say not an hour with a dslr?

Anyhow as you say shorter gives me a chance to check things are working out, you are probably right that is a better idea.
 

RoyReed

Must fly!
Aha, why do you say not an hour with a DSLR?
The longer the exposure, the hotter the sensor will get. This will generate more noise. If it gets too hot the camera will shut down. There will also be significant battery drain. Will there be enough power for a one hour exposure.

If you're happy with that, you might want to take some extra precautions while you're taking the photo.

Cover the viewfinder - any extraneous light that's around can leak in here and spoil the shot.

Tape the focus and zoom rings on the lens - changes in temperature can cause them to creep, particularly if the camera is pointing upwards.

Hang a weight under the centre column of the tripod to help prevent vibration.

Changes in temperature can cause the tripod to move. Make sure it's adjusted to ambient levels before you take the shot (not straight out of the inside of a warm car). Same for the camera/lens to prevent condensation.
 
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weltweit

Well-Known Member
The longer the exposure, the hotter the sensor will get. This will generate more noise. If it gets too hot the camera will shut down. There will also be significant battery drain. Will there be enough power for a one hour exposure.
I think I will take shorter exposures, apart from anything I don't want to have to wait for an hour to see if what I am getting is rubbish :)

If you're happy with that, you might want to take some extra precautions while you're taking the photo.

Cover the viewfinder - any extraneous light that's around can leak in here and spoil the shot.
Yes I can do that, there is a little knob that moves a cover over the viewfinder.

Tape the focus and zoom rings on the lens - changes in temperature can cause them to creep, particularly if the camera is pointing upwards.
I am probably going to use my 20mm prime so no zoom ring to worry about.

Hang a weight under the centre column of the tripod to help prevent vibration.
My last camera bag had a small loop at the top which I could attach to a knob on my tripod, my present bag doesn't have one. I may see if I can modify my tripod a little ..

Changes in temperature can cause the tripod to move. Make sure it's adjusted to ambient levels before you take the shot (not straight out of the inside of a warm car). Same for the camera/lens to prevent condensation.
Yes, aha, good point. I had a condensation issue going into a hothouse at a butterfly farm, it was quite a pain and the condensation took ages to clear. During my last milky way expedition everything was going well but at about 1am there seemed to be a dew which settled over and wetted us including onto the lens. I didn't have anything to wipe it with so I just continued and luckily it didn't seem to affect things too much.
 
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