First success with the tracker

SquarePeg

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Had a chance to try out the tracker while I was in NC earlier this month. I guess I’ll need to learn to do blends and masks because this sky came out great (IMO)! This is 2 minutes at ISO 500 f4 with the xt2, Fuji 14mm and MSM tracker. I haven’t attempted to blend it with the foreground shot that I took yet. But wanted to share the sky shot and get some feedback. The dark skies of OBX definitely were the biggest factor but this 2 minute shot has much more detail than anything else I tried while we were down there. I wasn’t sure if the tracker was worth the effort as it can be a pita but this result confirms it for me.

Tracker 1 by SharonCat..., on Flickr
 

BasilFawlty

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Nice first attempt! Fortunately there are lots of videos on YouTube about processing and blending milky way shots! What is the structure in the foreground?
 
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Nice first attempt! Fortunately there are lots of videos on YouTube about processing and blending milky way shots! What is the structure in the foreground?

Thanks, I've been putting off learning all of that but will have to get moving. That is a shipwreck half buried in the sand. I have some photos of it posted during sunrise in this thread: Shipwreck
 

BasilFawlty

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SquarePeg

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Thanks I’ll check that out.
 

BasilFawlty

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This is my setup for star tracking...

SkyGuider Pro.jpg
 

nokk

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nice first attempt. the boat should be no problem to mask.
 

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The sky color is beautiful!
 
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SquarePeg

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nice first attempt. the boat should be no problem to mask.
Thank you. Will have to wait I think a bit as I have a busy week ahead.
The sky color is beautiful!
Thank you. I read a blog online about how to get the most color out of milk away photos without adding any color yourself. You use a lower ISO and underexposed then bring it up 1-2 stops in post. It also involves lowering the highlights almost all the way, turning off the color noise reduction that Lightroom automatically applies, making a curves adjustment and then setting a couple of the other sliders in a certain way. I know some people prefer a more traditional look but I like the colorful dramatic night skies. When I see a Milky Way photo and the foreground is all lit up like it’s the middle of the day and the night sky is pale blue - to me, that doesn’t look like a night sky photo. And it’s just a bit boring for the subject matter IMO. How anyone can be fascinated enough to want to capture the Milky Way, but not have any imagination or drama in their work is a mystery to me. Anyway... rant over. That was not referring to anyone here. I’m in a bunch of astro groups on Facebook and I see a lot of technically good but boring shots. It gets annoying.
 

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It is a PITA but the results speak for themselves. Actually, once you get the gist of it, getting it setup is fairly quick. But post processing the foreground and the sky...I havn't even tried that yet, but I think it will take more time and effort than setting up the tracker.
 
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SquarePeg

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It is a PITA but the results speak for themselves. Actually, once you get the gist of it, getting it setup is fairly quick. But post processing the foreground and the sky...I havn't even tried that yet, but I think it will take more time and effort than setting up the tracker.

Yes by the third run through positioning the tracker and lining it up with the laser pointer it was pretty easy. The biggest issue after that was that I was bored just standing there for 2-4 minutes. I guess it’s not any different than shooting 10 20s frames for a stack but it feels more boring! And of course having to remember to shoot a separate foreground photo every time...
 

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The biggest issue after that was that I was bored just standing there for 2-4 minutes.
And of course this winter when it is clear and cold.... I'm not a big drinker but I'm thinking some schnapps might help...with the waiting part.
 
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What time was that taken? If I'm not mistaken, the best MW shots are taken early in the AM.
Probably around 1-2am i don’t think it matters the time it’s taken relative to time of day. It’s more about getting the timing right within the window that the core is visible and the moon is either new or already set. The window at the beginning of the season is usually after 1am then it gets a bit earlier each day until late summer / early fall when it’s closer to 9pm. But at that point the MW is rising vertically instead of horizontally so different composition and if you don’t get it at the beginning of the window it’s too high to get it in frame with the foreground.
 

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