It goes on forever, and... oh My God, it's full of stars!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by benlonghair, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Just got back from a mini vacation. I managed to snap some photos. This one was exposed while drinking some red wine straight out of the bottle on the beach. This was in Charlestown RI, facing south looking at Block Island.

    Think on this: What we are seeing here is the arm of our spiral galaxy. Billions of stars form the cloud we see as the Milky Way. Makes a person feel mighty small.

    2:13.7 exposure, 18mm, ISO 800 (noise reduction was a pain), f/3.5.

    I'm sort of disappointed in the star trails. They're not long enough to add that dramatic element, yet I think it's a cool photo. Anybody got any hints on dealing with them?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Is that a 2hr, 13 min and 7 second exposure or (I assume) a 2 min 13.7 second exposure? Interesting effect.
     
  3. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    2 min 13.7 sec.

    The entire photo would be noise from a 2 hr exposure. I've got an old minolta srt201 that I'm thinking about getting a cheap wide angle lens for to do some more star photography.
     
  4. LittleMike

    LittleMike No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Try dropping your ISO as low as it will go and tightening your aperture just a little. By tightening your aperture the stars will behave differently and have a more distinct line, rather than looking almost out of focus. Not to hijack your thread, but here's one I had a week ago: http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-photo-gallery/211336-moonlit-cliffs-c-c.html The exif data is posted, and you can see the results.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Less wine would probably would have helped this exposure. Not sure though...
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah, I'm leaning that way too...lol. It looks like you might have missed the focus...

    All you need to make them longer is more time... I'm actually a little surprised that they're this long after only 2 minutes...
     
  7. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    I tried both stopped down and lower ISO. I got the stars but not the milky way.


    The 18-55 kit lens is almost impossible to focus manually. The whole focus range is like 1/4 turn.

    I'm actually looking to reduce the star trails.
     
  8. subscuck

    subscuck No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If that's the case, you'll have to take multiple exposures and use stacking soft ware. Stars will begin to trail after about 12-14 seconds. Exposures of around 10 seconds should do the trick. I've been out of astrophotography for a while, so I'm not sure what's out there for stacking software. Used to be a free one called Registax, some people loved it, some hated it.
     
  9. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info. How exactly does that work? If I were to take (for example) 30 10 sec images, would it look like a 300sec exposure minus the noise?
     
  10. subscuck

    subscuck No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, it would be equivalent to a 300 sec exposure, don't know about noise because I've never done astro with digital, just film. I know the software auto aligns, and I'm pretty sure it averages out the noise as well. Guys I knew several years ago on an astronomy forum used it, and like I said, some loved it, some used it but continually cursed it! The pics they got were nice, tho. And of course, the darker your skies, the better the pic. My skies have gotten a little too light polluted over the last 5 or 6 years, so I kinda lost interest.
     

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