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Author Topic: Night Sky - Star Photos  (Read 3243 times)

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Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« on: August 21, 2021, 10:37 »
+2
I started with whatever I had for lenses, then made changes and improved. Kit 18-55mm Canon with a filter heater. Not even close to sharp enough at 18mm. That turned into an 8MM Rokinon, which is soft at the edges has distortion and, basically was a cheap lens, wide and served it's purpose. Now I just invested in a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8



Once again, I added a heating coil, hand wound, to the front element, to keep the dew or any humidity from forming as nights get cooler and that's always an issue. I put the camera out at Sunset, and take photos all night, then look in the morning to see if I caught a falling star. Properly a meteorite.

Using the 500 rule, I'd be at 22 seconds for the 14mm on a crop camera, if I wanted points of light, not trails starting to form.

Here's the question. Does my Latitude matter for the Earth's rotation SPEED? 15 degrees an hour, and that's what causes the time limit. But since I'm a good amount North of the Equator, would the ground speed be slower? Or is 15 degree always 15 degrees, and I can increase to 25 second exposures?

Here's nice comprehensive article:  https://astrobackyard.com/the-500-rule/  on the 500 rule.

Perseids 2021, not that special, but I have a few thousand photos to go through one by one.



Leonids 2020, I had to stitch images to get this one, which is why longer exposures are more desirable.



Does Latitude matter for the 500 rule?


« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2021, 13:01 »
0
Thanks for sharing your night star experiences, Uncle Pete! I can't help you with your query but I appreciate the description of the effort you made so far!

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2021, 14:00 »
+2
Thanks for sharing your night star experiences, Uncle Pete! I can't help you with your query but I appreciate the description of the effort you made so far!

That's also described as, I made many mistakes, MANY and I finally found good articles on how to do this right. Of course there are the enemies, weather, the Moon and light pollution.  ;) Like all guides, the 500 rule could be called the 500 concept and it's not a law, but simple math supports it. I should have included the basic equation. SS = 500 / (CF x FL) - Shutter Speed = 500 divided by the Focal Length, times the crop factor.

Maybe I can find an astronomer who has some speed answers. A 33 1/3 RPM record is traveling faster, surface speed, on the outside, than the inner tracks. My Latitude is 43.467530 N which is 43 degrees North of the equator. The North pole is 90 degrees North. I'm just shy of half way to that.

The close to a dot, or what is the center of this circle is the North Star / Polaris looking North from my back yard. Note the blown out evergreen in the lower left. That's what a garage light a 1/4 mile away will do. The glow in the lower right is a small town, population 1,400. I cropped most of that light out.



I'm hardly smart about astronomy, people who are beginners, know more and can name many more constellations and stars and features.

I am having fun. Almost everything I do, photo, becomes, having a good time, experimenting and making learning entertaining. Too bad there are so many better people, smarter, harder working and those who research and produce better, and so many people with digital cameras. Hardly worth trying to pay what it costs for my good times.

ps here's the 8mm in 2019



« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2021, 20:06 »
0
...
I am having fun. Almost everything I do, photo, becomes, having a good time, experimenting and making learning entertaining. Too bad there are so many better people, smarter, harder working and those who research and produce better, and so many people with digital cameras. Hardly worth trying to pay what it costs for my good times....

but that's the point?  any income is gravy - i'm doing the same at the other end of the scale - tested 5 digital microscopes before i found one that did what i needed (thank you amazon free returns!) and playing with that & macros to replace my normal travel schedule

« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2021, 21:46 »
+2
Great pics and tips, Pete. Thanks! You're inspiring me to give this a try too.

Lots of super-dark skies in the remote deserts where I tend to hang out. You make me think I shouldn't waste those opportunities.  :D

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2021, 20:24 »
+1
Great pics and tips, Pete. Thanks! You're inspiring me to give this a try too.

Lots of super-dark skies in the remote deserts where I tend to hang out. You make me think I shouldn't waste those opportunities.  :D

No deserts here, but I have a big lake?

Wildlife is unpredictable which take patience.



Not sure I'm good at that yet?

« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2021, 22:02 »
0
Great pics and tips, Pete. Thanks! You're inspiring me to give this a try too.

Lots of super-dark skies in the remote deserts where I tend to hang out. You make me think I shouldn't waste those opportunities.  :D

No deserts here, but I have a big lake?

Wildlife is unpredictable which take patience.



Not sure I'm good at that yet?

Wildlife is something I'm already quite experienced in photographing. It takes the right gear and TONS OF PRACTICE!

But night skies are a whole new subject for me. The learning curve will be steep there, too. Maybe I'll get it, maybe not, but it's something fun to try.

Thanks again for planting the bug in my ear. :D

« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2021, 00:33 »
0
I think your latitude makes less difference than the direction you point the camera - if you are pointing at the N or S sky there is a lot less movement than pointing straight out - along an E-W line and in between is in between as far as the motion. Fortunately with digital you can take a long (ish) exposure and decide if the stars are points enough for you. If not - go with a shorter exposure. 

My Pentax camera has an astrotracer mode where it moves the sensor to minimize star trails - it works pretty well with medium lenses. Things get weird at the edges of wide angle lenses. I haven't really tried for meteors, although I have gotten some in pics by serendipity. I have access to some pretty dark clear skies, so it can be fun trying things - and usually dry air so I haven't messed with the lens heater - although I have had problems with condensation from time to time.


k_t_g

  • Always ready for you!
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2021, 23:24 »
0
Beautiful! Love all those shots. Regarding those humming birds, great shot just hope you get some more colourful ones in the future.  Birds and butterflies truly hard to photograph. I tried a few times my self and really its a "chite or miss" opportunity.  Managed to get a interesting shot of a dove of mine in the beginning of a takeoff with an old style digital "point and shoot" camera. Sadly Millhouse which was his name is no longer around due to some kind of autoimmune thing.  But I still have many other pet doves with me. 😊💕
I don't sell stock photos really, but just like to take some nice pics and also use them for reference. Thanks to people who do stock, I have learned a lot to improve my shots with what ever I have.  :)

« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2021, 13:25 »
+1
My problem using "basic" equipment shooting high speed or low light subjects has been dealing with grainy results. Often rejected by the agencies after applying standard image enhancements before submitting.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2021, 10:03 »
+1
My problem using "basic" equipment shooting high speed or low light subjects has been dealing with grainy results. Often rejected by the agencies after applying standard image enhancements before submitting.

A natural fact! You're right. Plus the Hummingbird was rejected by SS. We both can predict that will happen.

I think your latitude makes less difference than the direction you point the camera - if you are pointing at the N or S sky there is a lot less movement than pointing straight out - along an E-W line and in between is in between as far as the motion. Fortunately with digital you can take a long (ish) exposure and decide if the stars are points enough for you. If not - go with a shorter exposure. 


Ah, good point, I hadn't thought of that aspect. I'm N latitude and I'm usually aimed NE because that's the darkest part of the sky here and the general direction of entry. Bigger cities are South.


Wildlife is something I'm already quite experienced in photographing. It takes the right gear and TONS OF PRACTICE!

But night skies are a whole new subject for me. The learning curve will be steep there, too. Maybe I'll get it, maybe not, but it's something fun to try.

Thanks again for planting the bug in my ear. :D

My main problem with what little wildlife I've tried, is first finding them, then getting them to cooperate and pose.  ;)

This guy was easy, as he was watching me, watching him. (or her?)



These speedy friends are a little more difficult:



If challenging fun was money, I'd be rich!

Here's the latest which I'm already modifying. Eventual goal is, place the camera in the state park at Sunset, come back and get it in the morning. Night sky, without city lights, security lights, highway traffic... but within 4-5 miles. Otherwise I could drive 235 miles and get up into the National Forest areas.



12V master is, an old lawn tractor battery or portable power unit. Camera locks up if the battery eliminator is over 9V. Older 10-D and 20-D didn't have that problem. Canon protection circuit, which I should think is good. This will shoot from Sunset to Sunrise in August, and not fill a 8GB card, while that camera is still shooting when I come out in the morning.

If I change to 20 second exposures, the card fills and the battery will be used up, just before dawn. Old 20-D I could use an old 4GB card, 30 second exposures, and it would shoot all night. Older cameras started to have the buffer fill and processing time would create gaps in time, between shots.

I'm changing to USB connections to get away from lighter plugs. Heater should work at 5 volts and camera won't have that over powered error 99.


« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2021, 10:35 »
0
My main problem with what little wildlife I've tried, is first finding them, then getting them to cooperate and pose.  ;)

Yeah, that's always the biggest challenge. After that, getting the money shot from the best angle and in perfect light is a piece of cake.  (NOT!)

Nice froggie shot, BTW.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2021, 10:39 by marthamarks »

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2021, 11:29 »
+1
My main problem with what little wildlife I've tried, is first finding them, then getting them to cooperate and pose.  ;)

Yeah, that's always the biggest challenge. After that, getting the money shot from the best angle and in perfect light is a piece of cake.  (NOT!)

Nice froggie shot, BTW.

Money shot? We do this for money?  ;) Yes, I neglected to add that nature shots, lighting is also a difficulty because things can vary, and be beyond ones control.

Little green tree toads are fairly common around here. They sure climb into unusual places. ATMs, door handles, and that one was in a PVC pipe that I have connected to the rain gutter, that leads to the bird bath. Self filling bird bath. (useful yard projects for lazy people)

« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2021, 13:58 »
0

Money shot? We do this for money?  ;)


Of course!!! Nature photography is a yuuuuuuge, consistently, predictably best-selling, big-$$$$$ stock category, donchaknow??

Luckily for me, I do it for the love of wild critters, the pleasure of being out in nature, the great challenge of it all, etc. 


 

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