Night/Star Photography?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ShutterSpeed, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. ShutterSpeed

    ShutterSpeed TPF Noob!

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    Ok, maybe i'm overzealous, but as soon as I started learning photography, i wanted to learn night photography.

    I've been working at it, but its really hard to get out to locations on a clear night and get a good shot, simply because there is always traffic going by at night and that lighting can glare into your shot. And even when you get far enough out of the city, you worry about being on someone's property, so I feel like an undercover agent trying to get heavenly night shots..and have failed horribly on clear nights to get to a place where I can get the landscape mixed in with the starry night.

    Any of you guys taken any good celestial shots?
     
  2. Jaszek

    Jaszek No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ive taken celestial shots but not even close too good, it was windy and my tripod was shaking causing the mess up of the whole picture. I'm waiting till it gets warmer to try that again. And as for the glare I didn't get any and I was about 5 meters from the nearest road.
     
  3. ShutterSpeed

    ShutterSpeed TPF Noob!

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    most of the glare i have gotten has been miniscule and it came from street lights that glared in on the long exposure...

    i think the biggest thing is location. You'd think in Arkansas that I'd have all-access to rural areas where a clear night would be gorgeous. Wrong. I'm afraid of being on someone else's property when they drive by and coming after me with a shotgun.

    Another challenge is the ability to focus. I always set it on manual...and in a dark enough setting, it seems VERY hard to get that focal point on the stars - at least sometimes.

    It's been windy lately hear, and my tripod is weak. In my part of Arkansas, we don't have a lot of flat spaces in rural areas, so, it's difficult to get a good location where I can not worry about a slightly shaking tripod.
     
  4. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    What tripod and head were you using?
     
  5. Jaszek

    Jaszek No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Manfrotto Bogen 785B and the head is the one that came with it...I'm planning on getting a better tripod after I get a new lens.
     
  6. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I understand that it's tricky near large city centres. I live in a small town, so I need only walk to the edge of town to do star photos...

    Here's one at the corner of my town...

    [​IMG]


    Here's one five minutes out of town. The glow is caused by the reflection of clouds off the town lighting...

    [​IMG]


    Focusing can be tricky, especially with the D60's dinky kit lens that has no focus markings. What I do is AF on the brightest spot I can find that is very far away (eg.: one of the street lights you see). This should focus it to infinity. Set the focus to manual and shoot.
     
  7. dtornabene1

    dtornabene1 TPF Noob!

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    Shutterbug magazine just came out with an Expert Photo Techniques edition. It's on news stands now and explains the nuances of astrophotography and celestial photography.

    While I do not think the images are all that great, the explanations and instruction is pretty damn good.

    Hope this helps.

    -Nick
     
  8. rubbertree

    rubbertree TPF Noob!

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    I have taken some great pictures of the full moon (along with some stars) from my own backyard. I live near the edge of a small town so have minimal light to worry about, though there are street lights and some traffic.

    one of our very own TPF members, astrostu, has taken the time to write out several pages of how-to on astro photography. The posts are all in the "articles of interest" from here at TPF.
     
  9. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    Yep-yep. 4-part guide. Part four has a section with my tips on focusing. Focusing really is a pain in the butt - the second-hardest thing in astrophotography (first-hardest is just waiting by the camera for the exposures to finish).
     
  10. dtornabene1

    dtornabene1 TPF Noob!

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    Well done astrostu, well done.

    -Nick
     
  11. Phelan

    Phelan TPF Noob!

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    If you're in the Fayetteville area around the new sewage treatment plant on Broyles and the Farmington elementary just a bit further down Broyles are some of the best spots in town to avoid light pollution and power lines.
     
  12. EhJsNe

    EhJsNe TPF Noob!

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    I got some decent shot of the moon on my lawn. I had my lens to 36mm and had it faced at the moon with thhe road just visible in the frameand had my brother drive his car down the road and turn at the corner (I shot with the moon directly above a street corner) then when he was out of the frame turn around and come back. it was a ok shot. I keep it in my favorite photo album...
     

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