Starry Night
  • beeb
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    Starry Night

    by beeb » Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:14 am

    Noticed it was clear outside, so went out for a bit of astrophotography. No moon meant great conditions to see the stars, but it was bloody hard to compose anything in the dark! :lol: A powerful LED torch always comes in handy, both for getting around and for trying to pick out and place the foreground elements in the image.

    (Reshoot of an old location this time, as I was trying to escape the light pollution!)
    Image

    Image

    I was very happy with the results from the a7RII and Loxia 21mm combo for this type of photography - I hope to get down the along our coast for some more astro sessions (with a bit more foreground diversity!) now daylight savings has ended.
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    Re: Starry Night

    by beeb » Sun Apr 03, 2016 4:42 pm

    And a couple more variants:

    Image

    Image
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    Doug
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    Re: Starry Night

    by Doug » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:02 pm

    Nice job on these.
    Did some astro as well in the weekend with the usual suspects and extras from the canon collective.
    I am well aware of the challenges you speak of.
    We had the added challenge of 20 odd people in the same area trying not to spoil each others exposures with torch usage.

    That is some impressive density of stars you have been able to capture and still not get trails.

    I like the first and last one the most.
    The first for it's simplicity and the last for the capture of the tree.
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    Re: Starry Night

    by beeb » Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:33 pm

    Doug wrote:Nice job on these.
    Did some astro as well in the weekend with the usual suspects and extras from the canon collective.
    I am well aware of the challenges you speak of.
    We had the added challenge of 20 odd people in the same area trying not to spoil each others exposures with torch usage.

    That is some impressive density of stars you have been able to capture and still not get trails.

    I like the first and last one the most.
    The first for it's simplicity and the last for the capture of the tree.


    Thanks Doug.

    Having extra people in the area can be a blessing and a curse. Great to share ideas and inspirations, but trying to get everyone to contain themselves in regards to torch usage can be a nightmare! :lol:

    I was by myself this time, and fortunately it was a remarkably clear night - quite honestly the clearest I've seen in several years. It was glorious even to the naked eye, so conditions really couldn't have been better (being further away from the city's light pollution would have been nice, but 50+ minutes from home was already far enough for me!).

    I purposely kept the shutter speeds to around 15 seconds to minimise any trails, and ISO 6400 cleaned up surprisingly well in post with only light/moderate noise reduction.

    I have also been experimenting more and more with luminosity masking in Photoshop lately, and found particularly positive results in regards to being able to brighten the hihglights and midtones without adding in the noise and banding that often accompany traditional curves or levels adjustments when doing astrophotography. While the density of stars is as captured, being able to cleanly boost the highlights to show them more clearly has was nice.

    Hopefully the weekend weather is nice and clear over the coming weeks as I'd love to do more before it get too cold!
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    Eden
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    Re: Starry Night

    by Eden » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:48 pm

    Great shots and the first is a ripper.

    The last is interesting and nice with the detail in the tree also

    How did the battery life hold up doing the long exposures?

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    Re: Starry Night

    by beeb » Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:54 pm

    Eden wrote:Great shots and the first is a ripper.

    The last is interesting and nice with the detail in the tree also

    How did the battery life hold up doing the long exposures?

    Eden


    Thanks Eden.

    Battery life was no problem. I still had around 50% left on the one I started with when I got home.

    From my experience - the main battery drains seem to be use of the IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilisation), which has a mild effect - and tethering via the inbuilt Wi-Fi - which seems very power hungry.

    Overall I find battery life is pretty much indentical to shooting with a Canon D-SLR in Live-View - ie: around 350-450 shots, but realistically the amount of time the camera spends powered on seems to be the biggest factor. Some sloppy programming from Sony (like leaving the LCD screen backlight turned on while shooting long exposures) means the camera could be more efficient, but it's nowhere near as bad as some reviewers make it out to be - unless you walk around with it constantly powered on. I had thought it would be more of a problem than it actually is to be honest.

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