David's Blog

Tag: Astronomy

Embrace Your Mistakes #4: The Night Sky

https://vimeo.com/81217253

A few months back when I as visiting Scotland I took a few star photographs which can be seen on my flickr page. With my wonderful girlfriend I also created this time-lapse that you can see above. I thought I would talk you through it, whats good, whats not and how it was created. 

This 10second film is actually 250 still images taken over the course of two hours. I do not have a remote shutter so it was taken by hand with the exposure set to 20seconds. For this shoot I used the Helios 44, an old Russian lens which was at hand. Converted its about a 55, It would be interesting to compare this short with one taken with a wider angled lens, but I don’t think the crop is necessarily an issue.  The sequence was shot  on RAW and brought into After Effects through Adobe Bridge. It is 25fps. 

What is an issue is the slight tremor of the camera/tripod set up and the slight delay in the shot, it is never exactly 10 seconds and sometimes it shows when I wasn’t paying full attention to the time (to give us some credit it was about zero degrees out there!) This shows that a remote release is necessary! Even if you had perfect timing it would combat the shake, however slight it might feel when taking the shot.

The footage is a bit noisy, this could be combatted with a noise reduction with color or after effects but this would downgrade the sharpness, for me that is far more important than a bit of grain!   

But there is still much to admire, if not in this video then with just looking up at the stars themselves, moving at a slower rate

 

 

 

   

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The Sky at Night

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Apologies for not blogging in a while. I have been up in Scotland shooting and editing an advert, it has been very time consuming but now it’s almost done I can turn my attention onto the more important things in life: you, my dear readers.

Theses picture were taken a few nights ago. Like everyone else I am stunned by the night sky and love looking up at the stars, although I do have to admit about knowing very little about them. This night was a fabulous example of what the sky really looks like without light pollution. If you want a tutorial on how to take these Astronomy shots I can not recommend this article enough, it has everything that you need to know.

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If I were to stress anything the article doesn’t talk about it would be LUCK. I have been in Scotland for about a month now and this was the first (and only night so far) that I have really been able to see the stars. It’s been far too cloudy up until then, so take your time and look out at the night sky and take any chance you can get!

All the photographs were taken with my trusty 600D and Sigma’s 30mm 1.4. The introductory picture was taken with a 30 second exposure (Bulb manual settings) and the rest were taken with exposures from 10-30 seconds. I have since read you should not go above 13 seconds, while it is true the longer you keep the bulb pressed the more data can be seen it is also true (illustrated if you blow up the photographs) that the pictures will be more blurry with the stars moving. If you like what you see then go to my Flickr set The Sky at Night, I need some help naming what can be seen in them! By all accounts on the introductory photograph you can see the Andromeda Galaxy but apart from that I have no real clue. More will be uploaded soon so please do check them out and tell me what you can see!

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