Bulb (long exposure) night photography

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by benjyman345, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. benjyman345

    benjyman345 TPF Noob!

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    hello,
    I want to take a long exposure photo of the night sky and stars so that you can see the movement of the stars in the photo.

    What is the best settings to use to achieve this?
    Shutter time? (30mins, hour etc?)
    Appeture?
    What film? (100, 200, 400?)
    What ISO should i set the camera to? (the same as the film or diffferent)

    Anything else i should know or consider?
    (I have a remote shutter release button and lock and tripod)

    thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I haven't done much of this really long exposure stuff...but I seem to remember that low ISO film works best. After a minute or so...it's actually more sensitive than faster film. As for aperture, I don't think that matters too much...your DOF will be at infinity anyway.

    I think that trial and error seemed to be the way in which people found the right exposure time...you may be able to find a starting point if you search around.

    Good luck.
     
  3. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    well....I like to use the Lowest ISO film possible.
    like 50 or so
    i would say for starters, go f/8 and then what ever you want for your shutter.
    you would get good stuff after 30 min. but i personally have done 4+ hours with my camera.
     
  4. JDP

    JDP TPF Noob!

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    There's someone on this forum who has taken a LOT of space pictures, I can't remember who - but he did a wonderful job and has plenty of info on his site - I *hope* he sees this and lets us all know!
     
  5. benjyman345

    benjyman345 TPF Noob!

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    if I use 100 film should i leave the ISO setting at 100 or set it to a lower setting such as 50?

    If i do change the ISO setting for one or two photos out of the roll of film do i need to notify the people processing the film?

    thanks for all your responses so far. :)
     
  6. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    I doubt I'm the person that JDP is referring to, but I've done a lot of astrophotography (and I have some star trails on my photosite in my signature). The exposure time will depend upon how long you want the trails to be. One hour will give you arcs that are 15° long (2 hrs will be 30°, 20 minutes will be 5°, etc.).

    One issue in exposure length, however, is how much light pollution there is where you are. Near a city, if you expose too long (even for a half hour), the sky is bright enough that it could wash out all of the stars. Hence, really trial and error is the only way to really figure out what's best for you.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Don't worry about over-riding the ISO setting...just leave it the same as the film.
     
  8. JDP

    JDP TPF Noob!

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    Wrong! It WAS you I was responding too! I have an odd love for space, though I let other people to the dirty work - you have some wonderful pictures Stu, you should be proud!
     
  9. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    Alright, I just figured it was someone else since I've only been on this forum for under a month ... but I'm glad that I'm already making a good impression - thanks! :blushing:
     
  10. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    How about a lens for these shots? I have a 18 - 55mm... would that do it or would it work better with a telephoto?
     
  11. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    It depends upon the effect that you're going for, but I would think you'd want a pretty wide-angle lens in order to capture more stars. All of the trails on my site were done with an 18 mm lens.
     
  12. mortallis288

    mortallis288 TPF Noob!

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    somone did this in the AP art class at school. they did it for an hour and a half exposure time, im not sure about the other settins
     

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