Tips, tutorials and discussion of photography, cameras and accessories.
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I have always wanted to make a photo like this:
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

Just beautiful. Too much light pollution around here for me; I would have to drive way out in the country to try to find a suitable place.

Rusty
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

www.prestophoto.com/photos/gallery/19932
How is that done? Very cool BTW
Me too! I wonder if I'll ever make the effort to do it though. Like you, it would take some planning.

Courtney
That is gorgeous, something I would like to try soon
Here are some basic steps in shooting stars.

A sturdy Tripod is really a must. While not always necessary, a tripod will keep your camera steady for those long exposures.

Wide-angle lenses 18-55 (fast glass around f/2.8 or better)

Exposure time (bulb setting) to around 15 minutes or above for testing. The higher the number the better. Note: Most exposure times for stars are over forty-five minutes. (Shutter release remote to lock the shutter if you don't or do have bulb setting on your camera.)

The closer you are pointing to the celestial pole, the more "curved" will be the star trails. A 15 second exposure will not show any star trails, but should show you the constellations.

Remember that if the moon is in the picture, lower your exposure time as it is a lot brighter than the stars. I wouldn't take a long exposure if the moon is in it, but that's just me. Come to think of it, I wouldn't take a picture with the moon if I was shooting stars. A moonless night would be best out in the middle of nowhere on a mountain top...with a bottle of scotch...coffee...


But that is just my opinion.

:wave:

Edited to correct some typeos.
Dane
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Knight Reflections

My Flickr, not the horse
-------------------------------------
Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
That's an astronomy website, not a photography site, so they usually don't bother with showing the exposure details that we all would like to know. I would guess the image I referenced is an exposure of an hour or more. Thus, the moon would be a killer if in the frame.

If you want the circles, as Dane says, point at the celestial north pole, the star at the very end of the handle of the little dipper is Polaris and that's within three degrees or so of what you are looking for.

Rusty
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

www.prestophoto.com/photos/gallery/19932
Huh?, looked at my book again, it talks about hours in some cases. Just how long a trail does one wants would be the question. In my case, I need my beauty sleep, plus a point and shoot just won't do.

I would put my camera on a sturdy tripod, which I think has to be a must (as I would think one's arms would get a bit tired without one, along with swaying). Set my camera to 'B' bulb setting press the shutter remote to lock the shutter down for x length of time. Most DSLR (I assume as my film SLR does) has a bulb setting(?), set the alarm on the clock for a couple of hours or longer and go to bed.

As with most things worth there weight, it might ... ok it will take a few nights to get what you want. Just think how nice the night air will feel and all the cool noises you might get to hear that goes bump in the dark. :o


:wave:

EDITED to add these URLs: http://forums.photographyreview.com/sho ... .php?t=853
Better link: http://www.popphoto.com/Features/How-To ... ar-Streaks
Dane
-------------------------------------
Knight Reflections

My Flickr, not the horse
-------------------------------------
Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
One concern, Dane, is battery life. This is the kind of shot where, IMHO, film cameras have digital beat hands down.

Surprisingly, digital is also in the stone age compared to film when it comes to bulb exposures. Nikon does have a bulb feature that works well. Use a remote clicker and click once to open the shutter and then, the second click closes it. For some reason, Canon does not ... I believe you must physically hold the shutter open the entire time. (That's based on something Chuck told me in another thread months ago).

Rusty
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

www.prestophoto.com/photos/gallery/19932
mmmm... good point Rusty, ok, go to B&H and order a battery pack, but as for the remote, I thought Canon did have one? Will check B&H later on that. Like I said, can't do this with my point and shoot.

:wave:


EDITED to add a link on a Canon remote: http://www.amazon.com/Canon-TC80N3-Remo ... B00009XVA3
Dane
-------------------------------------
Knight Reflections

My Flickr, not the horse
-------------------------------------
Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?
Canon clicker ... well, yeah. But, what does it do? What are the camera features? What happens when you click? With a Nikon, if you are using your finger, you must press and hold the shutter for the entire exposure. If using a remote clicker then you have the 2-click process I described. Of course, you are only doing this for something over 30 seconds because I can set speeds in the camera up to that limit.

I found it hard to believe that Canon didn't have such a feature but Chuck assured me that was the case --- must physically hold the button down the whole time.

Nikon is not as good as I first thought. The camera has a built in limit of 30 minutes for bulb exposures. After the first click to open the shutter, it's going to close in 30 minutes or upon the second click, whichever comes first. (I'm guessing battery life has something to do with this)

I could fool it with the double or triple exposure feature and stack two or three 30-minute exposures onto the same frame. This means I gotta set that alarm clock to run back outside every half hour :roll:
'course, I probably also need to pay $79.95 (plus s&h) to buy this http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Nt ... Search=yes so I have enough power to handle exposures that long. Hmmmmm - don't think so. Besides, I'm now limited to a shooting spot within extension cord length of a 110v household power supply.

I got it! Better yet! Find a battery power very, very, very low speed lazy susan, put the camera on a table tripod on top of that; now I got star trains in circles whichever part of the sky I point to :chickendance:

Rusty
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

www.prestophoto.com/photos/gallery/19932
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