First time photographing the stars

Discussion in 'Landscape & Cityscape' started by birdbonkers84, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. birdbonkers84

    birdbonkers84 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    1.
    [​IMG]Milky way by Mark Coull, on Flickr

    2.
    [​IMG]Milky way by Mark Coull, on Flickr

    3.
    [​IMG]4881_2-4881 by Mark Coull, on Flickr

    4.
    [​IMG]Milky way madness 2 by Mark Coull, on Flickr

    Hadn't planned to do this, but noticed all the stars were out where I was staying outside Aviemore. SO popped out at 1015pm and stayed out to almost 00:00. Dam it was dark and cold! Shot these with my 18-55 kit lens. Really wish I had a wider lens and that I shot some of these portrait! I'm pleased with my first tries at least even if the quality is horrendous.

    Any advice or tips are welcome.


     
  2. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Horrendous? These are pretty good for your first time man.

    Seriously.

    I like the last one a lot. I’m not really a fan of the first two because there is no foreground subject. But the last two are nice images. Way better than my first attempts were.

    In the future you can scope out locations that would work well for this and return to them when the stars are out and there isn’t much moonlight. 99% of good astrophotography is in the planning and knowing when to shoot.
     
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  3. birdbonkers84

    birdbonkers84 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I took about 13 images and love them all personally, but the noise quality was just a shock to the system. I really like the last one too that I posted (and I can see what you mean about not having a foreground subject), was also the first one I edited aswell. I posted a few duplicates on my flickr as I was trying out different processing.

    Thanks for the advice too, I now appreciate the planning side, bringing a torch is handy too, had to use the one on my iphone. There are a few areas around where I live that I might try out next time. I'm also off to Oban and Loch Lomand in October so this was kind testing the waters before I go there.
     
  4. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    Look at posts and threads by jsecordphoto, tcampbell, and kmh for some tips regarding shooting the stars. There are a few other members that I can't think of at the moment.
     
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  5. birdbonkers84

    birdbonkers84 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks, will do!
     
  6. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Can’t access the data from my iPhone very easily.. what were your settings for these shots? Specifically your aperture, shutter speed, and iso?

    As far as the torch goes.. get a headlamp that the option to light up red. The red light will allow you to work in the dark without destroying your night vision.
     
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  7. birdbonkers84

    birdbonkers84 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    For all the shots I used my Nikon D7100 + Nikon 18-55 kit lens. and using the rule of 500 as starting point for most of them.

    1. 18mm, f/3.5(widest for the lens), ISO 3200 and 20s shutter speed.

    2. 18mm, f/3.5, ISO 3200 and 20s shutter speed.

    3. 18mm, f/3.5, ISO 3200 and 15s shutter speed.

    4. 18mm, f/3.5 ISO 3200 and 30s shutter speed.
     
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  8. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sounds like you’ve got the right idea down for sure. I just wanted to make sure you weren’t using unreasonably high iso levels.

    The 7100 definitely starts showing it’s weakness at 3200 in a dark sky. If you get serious about shooting the night sky you might consider getting a faster wide angle prime like the 20 1.8G, or eventually upgrading your body. But what you have will honestly do fine for the time being, and if you’re printing small or publishing online nobody will know the difference.
     
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  9. birdbonkers84

    birdbonkers84 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah it'll be something to consider over the next 6 months, for now just gonna give my 18-55 kit lens some love while I decide, wildife photography is still my thing, but I'm looking into a few other things to try out such as landscape/night sky.

    I was wondering, I noticed my D7100 has a Long Exposure noise reduction feature, should I have that turned on for doing night sky stuff?
     
  10. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    No, definitely keep that turned off. If you have it on it will read half the stars as noise and you’ll lose a lot of stars.
     
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