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Author Topic: Landscape Astro photography  (Read 971 times)
FredBGG
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« on: December 22, 2012, 04:56:05 PM »
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http://s3.amazonaws.com/scifri-videos/lrg-legg2-122112.mp4
High speed connection

http://www.sciencefriday.com/video/12/21/2012/shooting-stars.html
Slower connection.

Brilliant Landscape photography and smart use of equipment... including pre programming gradual exposure changes
and controlling the camera from the computer over a long time period.

Amazing use of stitching for Imax projection.
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bill t.
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2012, 06:18:18 PM »
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Thanks for that!  Colin really did a good job on those, some of the best tonality and color I've seen in that kind of work.  The opening image with the Magellanic Clouds is particularly nice.

Would love do some starry night landscapes.  Looking around now for a reasonably portable tracking device for several minute star exposures to composite over static landscapes.  We still have some fairly pristine skies in New Mexico sufficient to make such shots possible, but it is worth noting that even in the Outback there are some encroaching lightdomes in the distance.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 07:13:10 AM »
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Would love do some starry night landscapes.  Looking around now for a reasonably portable tracking device for several minute star exposures to composite over static landscapes.

Hi Bill,

The astroTrack TT320 seems to be a very good device, with excellent tracking accuracy and very compact to transport. The price seems reasonable for such a specialized piece of equipment, but perhaps there are also local possibilities to rent such a unit for a limited period of time.

It looks like the fastest way of working is by mountiing it on a geared tripod head, to assist with alignment with the celestial axis of rotation, and use a ball head on top, to position the camera for the best angle of view.

Of course, the landscape features will be blurred, but the long exposures will help to get also faint stars to build up a reasonable exposure level. A composite of the landscape with a relatively short exposure, and the longer tracking exposure could produce some stunning vistas.

Cheers,
Bart
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Ray R
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 01:26:59 PM »
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I would advise that you try some starry nightscapes without a tracking device before progressing to tracking.

I have the astrotrac, but have not fully utilised it at the moment.

I would try multiple exposures and blending them together in a program like Deepsky Stacker.

Image 1 is 400mm, 16 images stacked in Deepsky Stacker, (includes dark frames)

Image 2 is 59 seconds on astrotrac, but has not been correctly aligned.

Image 3 is 24 frames in DeepSky Stacker, 50mm lens, f2

Image 4 is one frame, no tracking, 17 mm lens, 25 seconds at ISO 6400. It was also windy.

Camera was a Canon 5D Mk2.


Ray
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 01:37:44 PM by Ray R » Logged
Ray R
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 01:44:04 PM »
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I have just added this one as a comparison for the Milkyway, 17mm, 20secs, f4 ISO 3200.

And I would like to add that all except the mountain shot were taken just outside Marlow, England where there is quite a lot of light pollution.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 01:53:46 PM by Ray R » Logged
Ray R
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 02:18:38 PM »
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And one where there is not so much light pollution.

19mm f4 20sec at 3200 ISO

One of the problems is focusing the lens, as most will go past infinity, only just but sufficient to make the points of light out of focus.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 02:21:12 PM by Ray R » Logged
bill t.
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 03:29:02 PM »
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Ray, thanks for those suggestions and for posting those gorgeous images!  You have inspired me to continue in this genre.

Of course my goal is to get something that looks like "Image4" which is the upward looking Pleides shot.  Invokes the appearance of a good 5th magnitude night.  Can almost get that quality at the horizon around here by driving about 70 miles, but of course each passing year will require another 10 miles or so.  And what a nice juxtaposition of Orion over the tree, nice mood to that shot.  And how low Orion looks to be standing up that straight!

And thanks for pointing out DeepSkyStacker.  Appears to be quite useful, the kind program only a true enthusiast can write.  Will have some fun with that over the next few days.  Hmmm....looks like I'm in for a string of -12C, 10F nights.  Have to think about this.   Smiley
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Ray R
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 03:50:04 PM »
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Thanks for the comments.
It took me a while to manage to get an image from Deepsky stacker, memory overflow if I remember correctly, trying to stack too many images.

Image 4 is on the Isle of Skye, at The Storr, it was windy, but worth the walk at 2am (just after the full moon had set)

I think it helps to have either the Milky Way prominent or a recognisable constellation.

The problem here is getting a clear night, some appear clear, but there is very high cloud, or fog.

The last time I managed to get one was near Lymington, UK, in November and the lens misted over quite quickly.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 03:53:26 PM by Ray R » Logged
NancyP
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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2013, 04:36:42 PM »
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Newbie here. I understand that there are tiny "electric blankets" for refracting telescopes, to chase the lens fogging away. I suppose one could make a small battery-operated version for your favorite lens.

Has anyone tried the band-pass filter that cuts out the sodium and high-intensity fluorescent (urban and highway lights) bands? "Astronomix" CLS filter was mentioned in a Canon how-to article. That might cut the commute from 50 miles to 20 or 30 miles from downtown St.Louis. Astrophotography isn't a convenient hobby for urban dwellers.
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