Night Skies

Yesterday, for the first time since I moved, I managed to stay awake to see the stars.  I’m sure that sounds a bit funny, but summer nights are long in southern Canada, and even longer now that I have moved quite a bit further north.  And this early bird does have trouble staying up past 10…

But, I managed last night and got my camera set up hoping to catch a bit of the meteor shower (I saw one, and captured a few faint trails before I called it a night).  What I was most impressed with though was the clouds.  The first shot in the photos I am posting was taken at 10:30, and the last at 10:59 (okay, I didn’t manage that far past 10).  The moon wasn’t up yet, and I live far from from city lights.  I didn’t do anything other than export the photos from lightroom, they were taken with auto white balance, and all at 30 seconds exposure, f3.5, ISO 1000 (with my focus set to infinity).

If you look really, really closely in the last two photos, you might see the faint evidence of a meteor.

I’m excited for playing around more with night photography.  I must say, it was fun to get set up on on my back deck with a couple beers and watch the sky for awhile and take a few photos.

Have a great evening everyone.  It’s pretty overcast here tonight so I’m going to give the late night shooting a miss – maybe tomorrow though 🙂

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Kalahari Desert Star Trail

I’ve not had the opportunity to work on many star trails (only twice before this past trip) and while we had clear skies almost every night, there wasn’t always an opportunity to photograph the stars.  Most places we stayed had covered decks plus tree cover, and at almost every property it was against the rules to leave your room unattended after dark due to things like lions and leopards.  And the few places I did have the chance to work from my room, I didn’t necessarily have the best view of the stars, and it wasn’t advisable to leave the camera outside over night working, so I was limited to my waking hours (and when getting up before 5am, those aren’t too late).  Now add to all those limitations the fact that once I finally had the chance to stack the photos, I realized I got the settings wrong. Heavy sigh. 🙁

But…

I still like this composite.  I obviously set the period between photos far too long, as when you zoom in, you can see black spaces between the stars instead of a perfectly smooth trail.  To me though, when zoomed in it looks like a macro photo of some type of fabric.  I also like the way the curves are different from one side to the other.

This is a technique I definitely need to practice A LOT more, and I am looking forward to learning the proper settings.

A composite that is filled with errors, but I still really like the final result.
A composite that is filled with errors, but I still really like the final result.