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Camping and star gazing

Re: Camping and star gazing

Postby BobMcBob » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:14 pm

Kielder Forest in Northumberland does have the darkest skies in Britain. It has an observatory, which is a reasonable guide :) I've seen some fabulous skyscapes from round there.
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Re: Camping and star gazing

Postby Fudgie » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:11 am

A friend of mine managed to capture Aurora Borealis from Lyle Hill in Gourock but I would agree that most of the time you have to head well away from civilisation.
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Re: Camping and star gazing

Postby Astronick » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:44 am

RicKamila wrote:So whats the best way to photograph the stars if you get a clear night?

Would it be as simple as having the camera on a tripod and a manual shutter speed?


Use a reasonably high ISO setting, mount on a tripod, set your lens to its widest aperture (f/2... ish), focus on infinity (or auto-focus on a bright star, Jupiter, Venus etc), set your exposure for 15 or 20 seconds, use a remote shutter or set the self-timer for 10 seconds, shoot!

Experiment with the above, particularly ISO and exposure. Anything more than 20s or so with a wide angle lens will result in star trailing due to the rotation of the Earth. If you are using a zoom lens then this time will be much reduced and any shake in the camera will be emphasised. High ISO can be good but you need to be aware of increasing noise in the shot, particularly given a long exposure. Finding a balance between ISO and exposure with your specific camera is key to a good star shot.
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Re: Camping and star gazing

Postby basscadet » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:04 pm

Fudgie wrote:A friend of mine managed to capture Aurora Borealis from Lyle Hill in Gourock but I would agree that most of the time you have to head well away from civilisation.


I dont know about that, I have seen borealis from the top of Broad Hill.. right in the heart of Aberdeen.. Only a 180 degree panarama though right enough :thumbup:

When I was up staying in the visitor centre carpark at Ben Lawers a couple of weeks ago, I got to see the milky way and more stars than I have seen for a long time.. I think most places in the hills you get a pretty good views of the stars, but not if you are blessed by the foul weather faerie like me :(
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Re: Camping and star gazing

Postby RicKamila » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:08 pm

Astronick wrote:
RicKamila wrote:So whats the best way to photograph the stars if you get a clear night?

Would it be as simple as having the camera on a tripod and a manual shutter speed?


Use a reasonably high ISO setting, mount on a tripod, set your lens to its widest aperture (f/2... ish), focus on infinity (or auto-focus on a bright star, Jupiter, Venus etc), set your exposure for 15 or 20 seconds, use a remote shutter or set the self-timer for 10 seconds, shoot!

Experiment with the above, particularly ISO and exposure. Anything more than 20s or so with a wide angle lens will result in star trailing due to the rotation of the Earth. If you are using a zoom lens then this time will be much reduced and any shake in the camera will be emphasised. High ISO can be good but you need to be aware of increasing noise in the shot, particularly given a long exposure. Finding a balance between ISO and expo
sure with your specific camera is key to a good star shot.


Wow, thanks for that.

Lowest aperture I can use is 3.5, so I will give that a try. Here's hoping for some clear nights on Skye in October!!
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Re: Camping and star gazing

Postby Astronick » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:14 pm

RicKamila wrote:
Wow, thanks for that.

Lowest aperture I can use is 3.5, so I will give that a try. Here's hoping for some clear nights on Skye in October!!


No problem. It's really a matter of some experimentation and some luck! f/3.5 will be fine - basically just as wide as it will go to give you the best chance of capturing those pesky photons!
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Re: Camping and star gazing

Postby RicKamila » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:34 pm

Astronick wrote:
RicKamila wrote:
Wow, thanks for that.

Lowest aperture I can use is 3.5, so I will give that a try. Here's hoping for some clear nights on Skye in October!!


No problem. It's really a matter of some experimentation and some luck! f/3.5 will be fine - basically just as wide as it will go to give you the best chance of capturing those pesky photons!


Looking forward to giving it a go. So f/3.5 at 20 seconds with a 28mm wide-lense should be a good start then?
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Re: Camping and star gazing

Postby Gythral » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:41 pm

ISO 400 or 800 (1600 or 3200 if your camera noise level is low enough), a wide lens 35mm or less (35mm camera equiv. ie. 21mm canon ef-s) max aparture (f3.5 in your case), 10, 15 or 20s if you dont want trails, longer if you do, and have a good foreground.

If you want to use a longer lens, longer exposure or both you will need a barn door or equitorial mount to 'track' the star countering earths rotation.
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Re: Camping and star gazing

Postby RicKamila » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:15 pm

Gythral wrote:ISO 400 or 800 (1600 or 3200 if your camera noise level is low enough), a wide lens 35mm or less (35mm camera equiv. ie. 21mm canon ef-s) max aparture (f3.5 in your case), 10, 15 or 20s if you dont want trails, longer if you do, and have a good foreground.

If you want to use a longer lens, longer exposure or both you will need a barn door or equitorial mount to 'track' the star countering earths rotation.


Cheers Gythral.

Ive got Sigma 28-50 and 80-300 lenses. I'll have Old Man of Storr as a backdrop as its next to where we are staying, so hoping for something decent.
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Re: Camping and star gazing

Postby RicKamila » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:48 am

RicKamila wrote:Ive got Sigma 28-50 and 80-300 lenses. I'll have Old Man of Storr as a backdrop as its next to where we are staying, so hoping for something decent.


SCORE!! I just looked in a bag I brought from Australia where I just stored everything I didnt think I need and I found a Sigma 18-50 lense!!
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Re: Camping and star gazing

Postby Gythral » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:17 pm

RicKamila wrote:[
SCORE!! I just looked in a bag I brought from Australia where I just stored everything I didnt think I need and I found a Sigma 18-50 lense!!


:o :clap: :D
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