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Adventures In Astrophotography

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posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 12:06 AM
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a reply to: eriktheawful

Awesome work!!!




posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 08:15 AM
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a reply to: eriktheawful

Yeah forgot about that thread, already shared some a couple months ago.
Seems like it doesn't get too much updates, maybe need to push the thread a bit with some new photos


Let us know what your experience is with the 500mm.



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 08:18 AM
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a reply to: eriktheawful

Yeah, but I've been on a cruise before, and if I recall correctly, they really reduce the lights topside in the wee hours of the morning. I don't know if it's for the experience of stargazing or just because many of the topside attractions close overnight, but hopefully it'll be good and I can find a spot mid-ship where any movement will be limited.

Regardless, it can't be worse than living close enough to Cincinnati where the light from the city kills any hopes and dreams of seeing anything more than just the brightest stars in the sky.



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 08:20 AM
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a reply to: eriktheawful
Good explanation

Maybe you should also add the ups and downs of a tracking mount?



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 09:52 AM
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As i was originally going to comment on this thread with my photos i will continue with my reply but if i do take any more night time shots i too forgot about the other thread so i will post them in that from now on

i will reply with what i basically put in my first reply to this thread in which i screwed up.

I bought myself a Canon 450d last year for when i got trekking and when i attend airshows here in the UK before i was using a fixed zoomable lens so upgraded to a Canon so i can get use to using different lenses. As its technically winter here adn the weather isnt too great to go trekking in the mountains of scotland nor is the airshow circuit up and running, after reading magazines and seeing the pictures i decided to try my luck with night time photography. I had also been bought a small tripod for christmas which i was eager to start using

Being from a large town in south east england light pollution is relatively high so i was surprised with the outcome of my photos. Obviously i am a beginner and i need to fine tune my photography skills but either i was pleased with my results. Here are some of my pictures. Unfortunately the weather here in the UK has been pretty poor so ive not had many chances to get out but i will continue to do so as much as i can. Im also heading back to scotland in April so im hoping for some clear skies when im in the mountains

The first two photos are of the moon using a telephoto canon lens 75-300mm
For this my shutter exposure was set low due to the brightness of the moon so it was set at 1/100 and an aperture of 5.63 (f/7.1 dont see how that works though i though f stops were the aperture) the ISO was set on 100


Next imagine of the moon again but in a different phase, almost a full moon and again due to the brightness my shutter exposure was even lower set at 1/1600 and the aperture of 5 (f/5.6) with an ISO of 400


The moon pictures have been cropped from the originals .. also im struggling (as you can see) as to what ISO i should be using i was lead to believe for night shorts the lower the ISO the better ?

The next series of shots are using the lens that came with the camera which was a stand Canon 18-55mm.
This image is of the Orion constellation taken with a shutter exposure of 10 seconds an aperture of 3.63 (f/3.5) and an ISO of 200


Another image of Orion taken with a shutter exposure of 30 seconds aperture of 3.63 (f/3.5) and ISO of 100


Next up a picture of the big dipper Ursa Major taken with a shutter exposure of 20 seconds aperture of 3.63 (f/3.5) and ISO of 100. Its a shame (or not) that i caught two planes in the picture one in the bottom left(ish) corner and one to the bottom right corner and as you can see the light from my town lighting up the horizon


And finally a random shot of the night sky with nothing significant in it this i was just practicing with a a longer exposure time. The amber lights from the town have been caught more with the higher exposure setting almost making it look like a sun set/sun rise pic but can assure it it was relatively dark
Taken with an exposure time of 25 seconds and aperture of 3.63(f/3.5) and an ISO of 400


Any questions or tips/constructive criticism are welcome




edit on 15-2-2017 by ThePeaceMaker because: fixing picture

edit on 15-2-2017 by ThePeaceMaker because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 10:00 AM
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a reply to: eriktheawful That was a bloody brilliant story. The pics are awesome.

Thanks for sharing




posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 10:07 AM
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a reply to: ThePeaceMaker

Wonderful pictures! Thank you very much for sharing!

ISO: Back before 1974 the sensitivity of film used the acronyms ASA and DIN. These were combined to produce a scale with a International Standard for film sensitivity. And Organization to that and you get ISO.

In general the lower the ISO number, the less sensitive the film is to light, so the higher the number the more sensitive it is.

For modern day digital cameras, mostly the DSLR cameras, you still have a ISO for sensitivity, only instead of film, it's the sensitivity of the CCD imaging chip in the camera.

CCD chips have far surpassed light sensitivity than film was ever able to achieve.

As far as what you should be using: it's completely up to you. In my earlier post on here, you can see the differences between the different ISO's, but the f-Stop setting will also have an impact too.

One thing I was told and learned quickly about astrophotography: It's more of an art form than it is science. You can go out one night and get the perfect shot of something, only to go out the next night and using the exact same settings and exposure time, only to have the shot look different.

Weather, humidity and temps can all affect your shots too.



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 10:08 AM
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a reply to: intergalactic fire

Agreed.

What I'm dithering about is where to add that here, or make a new thread on it. I'm leaning towards making a new thread for now.



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: eriktheawful
Thank you! and youre welcome


Im slowly getting there with the technicalities of photography especially at night at the minute all im doing is taking the camera out writing down what setting its on etc and snapping away, then getting home and checking out how the pictures come out. Like i said too its a bit difficult in my town as its quite built up and im also close to London, and a lot of main roads which are always lit up. Sometimes that can add to the photo other times not. Come april though i will be in the middle of the scottish highlands where there is no artificial light so hopefully i can capture some nice pictures

One thing i wanted to ask Erik was, you commented on how you had a 500mm telephoto lens. I had been looking at longer lenses to experiment with especially when i go to airshows but i dont have the money to pay out for a mordern used/brand new 400mm lens, or like you a 500mm lens. I had seen on ebay/amazon older 400mm lens but wasnt sure if they would fit (yes id make sure i had a canon lens for my canon camera), you spoke of an adapter, if i were to buy an older lens providing i purchased the adapter it should do exactly the same as a modern 400mm lens ... hope that question makes sense



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 10:33 AM
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a reply to: eriktheawful

Great pics and thanks for sharing! It's always nice to hear when a person decides to get back to what they love and not let life get in the way (again). Good for you man. I'm looking forward to seeing the new pics.


I used to have an Orion StarBlast 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope (10 years ago).

For those people thinking it's an expensive hobby, it doesn't have to be. It depends on what you want and how serious you get. The Orion was very cost effective and certainly worth the money for me, based off what I got to see with it.

I just looked it up, and it's actually cheaper now! Lots of info on the scope here for anyone interested.



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 10:43 AM
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a reply to: ThePeaceMaker




Next imagine of the moon again but in a different phase, almost a full moon and again due to the brightness my shutter exposure was even lower set at 1/1600 and the aperture of 5 (f/5.6) with an ISO of 400

There is no need to use ISO settings of 400 it will only introduce more noise to your image which results in less detail.
Try ISO 200 @ f/8 and let the camera decide the shutter speed( or just experiment for yourself on manual mode), this will give you a sharper image(depending on the quality of the lens).
If you are having problems with low shutter speed, use your tripod and timer( for the best results).




This image is of the Orion constellation taken with a shutter exposure of 10 seconds an aperture of 3.63 (f/3.5) and an ISO of 200

Here I would personally use an ISO around 800 or higher and exposure of 25-30sec(depending on your focal length).
If you don't want startrails you can use the '500 rule'. Divide 500 by the focal length to get your maximum exposure before the stars will trail. So for example 500/18 = 27sec


As been said in the OP, if you want to reduce your noise you can use dark frames. If you want to reduce the orange glow caused by light pollution you can use flat frames.
Unfortunately to process these you will need special software, lucky there are free programs available
and enough tutorials online to get you started.

Another tip if you don't want to use dark frames, you can stack multiple images to reduce the noise.
This will also bring out more detail in the final image.




Its a shame (or not) that i caught two planes in the picture one in the bottom left(ish) corner and one to the bottom right corner and as you can see the light from my town lighting up the horizon


Depends on personal taste and what you are aiming for, it can create some cool effects.

Talking about planes, I caught one while shooting Andromeda, thought is was kinda funny and cool it just came within the frame.
This is a single 2 minute exposure @ 200mm f4 ISO 800



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 10:48 AM
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a reply to: ThePeaceMaker

The older Canon lenses I had for my old film camera, the Canon AE-1, are called FD lenses.

The ones used today on the digital Canon DSLR cameras are called the EF lenses (some times EF-S).

The old lenses will not mount on the newer EOS Canon cameras like your 450D. For that, you'll need an adaptor, which can be found here:

www.amazon.com...

The 500mm lens I have coming has the adapter with it.

So when you're looking in to buying older lens models, make sure to check wither it's the much older FD lens that was used with film cameras or the newer EF lenses used with the digital cameras.



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 10:51 AM
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a reply to: intergalactic fire

Ahh!

Thanks for explaining the "500 Rule", I completely forgot to mention that!



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 11:01 AM
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a reply to: intergalactic fire

Thanks for your reply i happily take on any tips. Just reading through your reply i see i have a lot to learn. As for the ISO settings i think they were only on the 'wrong' setting because i was relatively new to night time photography so i was just practicing. When i posted the pics here on ATS earlier i really only selected a few that i had taken and liked, i was just posting the settings so people can see where i may of gone wrong .. maybe wrong is the wrong word to use but you get what im saying

as for catching planes in a longer exposed shot .. i like it lol .. ive been meaning to head to a local busy road to get a few long exposed pictures of car lights wizzing past.

But again thank you for your reply its given me some food for thought and a little more to read up on


PS loving the Andromeda pic



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 11:07 AM
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a reply to: eriktheawful

aah i understand im glad i didnt just go and buy one without thinking otherwise i would of ended with the wrong lens. To be honest im looking at getting a better telephoto lens for as less money as i can. I couldnt believe the price jump for lenses after 300mm. I bought my canon 450d with its 18-55mm lens for £100 ($120 ish) and my 75-300mm lens was around £80 ($100) but i had been looking for a larger lens but right now they are well out my price range

Again thank you for your input



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 11:08 AM
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a reply to: ThePeaceMaker




One thing i wanted to ask Erik was, you commented on how you had a 500mm telephoto lens. I had been looking at longer lenses to experiment with especially when i go to airshows but i dont have the money to pay out for a mordern used/brand new 400mm lens, or like you a 500mm lens. I had seen on ebay/amazon older 400mm lens but wasnt sure if they would fit (yes id make sure i had a canon lens for my canon camera), you spoke of an adapter, if i were to buy an older lens providing i purchased the adapter it should do exactly the same as a modern 400mm lens ... hope that question makes sense



Maybe a thing to add if you buy lenses with longer focal lengths to use for astrophotography.
As I said before, the longer the focal length the shorter the exposure.

For moon shots there isn't too much problem, you can easy take shots at 500mm or higher without getting any motion blur, but if you want to take pics of galaxies or nebulae you will need a tracking mount to compensate for the earth's rotation or your photo will just be a blur. But of course it all depends on what you want to achieve.

Maybe Erik will make a new thread about that, it's really fun toy with few disadvantages but lots of advantages.



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 11:11 AM
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a reply to: ThePeaceMaker




maybe wrong is the wrong word to use but you get what im saying

Correct!
There is no wrong within photography or art in general.



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 11:11 AM
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a reply to: intergalactic fire

I think im with you .. I had taken a few pictures where i had used a exposure time of 30 seconds and i had the star movement, which i dont actually mind but at the minute im after for landscape shots with a starry sky i think the only zoomed shots i would do for now would be the moon. One thing at a time lol.

Any other time that ill use a telephoto lens witll be when im at airshows



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: ThePeaceMaker

I personally hate my 18mm-55mm lens that came with my Canon Rebel T3 (1100D).

You can move the focus past infinity (blah), you can get it set to infinity, then only slightly tap the camera and have it move on you. The focus ring is very loose and wobbly when I have the autofocus turned off.

It drives me up the wall some times.



posted on Feb, 15 2017 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: intergalactic fire

Correct, I'm working on the new thread right now.




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