Friday, December 14, 2012

Starry, Starry Night


Shooting at night has some challenges all it's own. I had never tried to photograph stars before and I relied on Aaron's new found knowledge to lead the way. I seemed to get the timing right for the lighting but focusing my lens (Nikon 17-35mm f2.8) to the hardstop of infinitely left everything slightly out of focus. Trying to focus manually on something like the windmill was even harder for my old eyes while in the dark. Out of the 33 photos I took I only got one that was actually in focus and it even has a touch of star movement in it even at just a 30 second shutter.


The whole point of last night was to try to get some photos of shooting stars. Although I did get a shot, the second of the night and the only one with a shooting star that I got, it was out of focus. I'm still posting it though just because it has the shooting star in it.

I'm going to have to work on my night vision!

18 comments:

  1. You are very tenacious, esp if it was cold while you were shooting. I think you did a great job and happy that you posted both photos.

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    1. Thank you! It wasn't too cold last night, right around 40 degrees while we were shooting but I did have to cover up my bald head. LOL!

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  2. I like the first photo. Did you switch the focus to M in the front of the camera? If you shooting in manual focus, both switches has to be in M on the lens, and the camera.

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    1. I switched to manual focus on the front of the camera but I didn't switch the lens. I assumed by switching the camera it wouldn't matter on the lens since it didn't try to autofocus. Doesn't one over-ride the other?

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    2. Sorry, yes it would over-ride rhe other. The stars it would be in focus if you put the lens in infinity.

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    3. I've noticed with a couple of my lenses that if I focus to the hard stop of infinity they are off just a little and I have to back off the hard stop just a touch to get the focus right.

      I'm thinking there is an setting in the camera that may adjust that for each lens, is that right?

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    4. I'm typing on the stupid Iphone. Sorry.
      Yes, there's a function on D700 to calibrate for each lens. Just googled for detail instructions. If that doesn't works for you, go buy yourself a D4. Lol

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  3. Hey you Shutterbugs, hop over to my blog today and see how you can help some homeless folks and their pets just by submitting one or more of your BEAUTIFUL photos to the See Beautiful web page. It's great cause and you do take some BEAUTIFUL photos!!
    Happy Friday!!
    P.s. Ron these night shots are great, I was too tired to even try to shoot anything last night. Glad you were on it! How many more days til HI??

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    1. Just 20 days Val!

      Thanks for the tip about your blog.

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  4. my eyes are pretty pitiful at night, too. but you did great, nonetheless!

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  5. Hope you guys keep working on the night sky shots. Living out in the country as you do dark skies should be easy to come by. Just wondering what is causing the light pollution in the background. KC lights maybe?

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    1. The clouds came in today and it's supposed to rain tonight so the star shots might have to wait a few more days. By then the meteor shower will be over but I'm going to keep trying. Q called with a few tips today so I'm going to try those and see what happens. If Aaron hadn't called yesterday I would have just be content sitting on the couch warm and comfy watching TV! LOL

      The glow on the horizon in the top photo is from the lights of Ottawa about 20 miles away. The glow in the second photo is from the city lights of Topeka about 60 miles away. I was amazed at how much they showed up.

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  6. Light travels far on the plains. Guess one just needs to focus a little higher in the sky. I can just see a star trail from a long exposure forming a circle around the head and blades of that windmill! Might even want to paint the blades with a flashlight! Not a challange, just thinking!

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    1. Man, everybody has the same idea.LOL

      I've been thinking about doing that exact same thing for several months now but I haven't had the time. Getting a star trail around the windmill takes a shutter opening of at least 30 minutes and I have to have the perfect night.

      The other night would have been perfect but from the photos I took then I need some more practice before getting that windmill shot but rest assured, it is on my list of photos to take.

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  7. Nicely captured!

    Last time I took night shots like this it took about 30 tries before I started getting the results I was looking for. None were as nice as what you and Aaron have come with though.

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    1. I should have share this to everyone. Based on my past experience to shoot the Milkyway is that you should capture this around 6-7 o'clock. Set your camera at f5.6, shutter speed 30 sec. ISO 400. Pick an object like a tree or a house ect. as a reference to focus on, highlight with a flashlight on that object so the camera be able to focus for you. Then switch to manual focusing so that way the camera stay focusing at that point. Take a shot, and check the stars expose or not. If not, adjust the ISO up until you happy with the result. Also, for best result shoot on a clear night, and away from city lights. Good luck!

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