Sunday, November 28, 2010

How I Shoot Landscape - shoot the stars

last 2 nights, spend hours to chase star and trying to capture in .... again weather not really at our site .. seem the cloudy days will be still with us ....

it is not difficult to shoot stars, and let me share some of my experience

if you do not have extra telescope equipment (e.g.Losmandy G11 with Celestron C8), we can either shoot a star trail or max ~30-50s else the star will be look like a small lines instead of blinking stars

- I do not own one those equipment so I do not know in depth .. but basic is those equipment will auto trace the stars so we can have longer exposure (which really need it while in real dark environment and do not want to shoot super high ISO

so ... I shoot as below
1. star trail

a. in real dark environment, make a rough estimation of exposure with setting below
    i. biggest aperture as possible
    ii. infinity focus
    iii. manual focus
    iv. mirror lock up
    v. high ISO normally I use ~400-1600 depend the environment
    vi. for the exposure depend on the light pollution ... may need few try to get right exposure
    vii. shoot 2 picture .. the sky one could be very long and make the foreground over expose. so shoot another exposure for foreground

b. not so dark environment
    i. biggest aperture as possible
    ii. infinity focus
    iii. manual focus
    iv. mirror lock up
    v. high ISO normally I use ~400-1600 depend the environment
    vi. shoot 10-30s depend how bad is the light pollution
    vii. set shooting mode to continuous shooting, and use remote to continue shooting for >20mintues (you should see some line or curve depend which direction you face)
    viii. shoot 2 picture .. the sky one could be very long and make the foreground over expose. so shoot another exposure for foreground
     viiii. use a software call startrail.exe (google it) and it can auto stack the all shots into single frame which combine the star as line/curve
     x. shoot north and south :D , if possible... if you prefer circle/curve compare to lines
     xi. I use a software load into my android call skymap .. real coold application, you should have it , if you love night photography

or .. for both shooting for sure you need a clear sky which mean better planning and luck :D

sample from last 2 nights
1. sample at not so dark or even quite bright area ... 
canon 5dm2 +1635L@16mm+168 exp
# Exposure Time (1 / Shutter Speed) = 8/1 second ===> 8 second
# Lens F-Number / F-Stop = 28/10 ===> ƒ/2.8
# ISO Speed Ratings = 400

... mystery ...


which I do not have luck

... just little too bright ...

... Time-lapse while waiting for the clear sky ...


or better view @
http://www.liewwkphoto.com/still/Putrajaya/28Nov2010/Putrajaya28112010.htm


2 sample under bit dark area

a. long exposure method
apply with some black card method
5dm2, SIGMA 1224@12mm, tripod, cable release
# Exposure Time (1 / Shutter Speed) = 727/1 second ===> 727 second
# Lens F-Number / F-Stop = 5/1 ===> ƒ/5
# ISO Speed Ratings = 400

... my 1st Star trail ...

images stack method
... a cold Startrails ...

hope this give some ideas how I shoot stars ..

6 comments:

ahleng ariKen said...

the cold star trail is amazing!...huhu

jimsuy said...

wow... great work... :)

liewwk said...

thanks ahleng & jimsuy for the comment and view ...

tienzyee said...

I had long admire your work and curious as to how you shot them since I had fallen in love with star photography.
My first shot was nice (to me) but my try after that wasn't good enough.

today, stumbled upon your blog and saw this entry, bookmarked it for me to try in future.

Just a question, since you do shoot in really dark place, that means it can be all alone in a dark place right, don't you ever worry of being robbed or something, there's a few places which I think would be nice to shoot, but in terms of safety, is doubtful.
Any advice?

Thanks in advance and really nice startrails (saw quite a number on PM site)

liewwk said...

tienzyee,
thanks .. and yes I am quite worry on security especially in MALAYSIA .. so I am slow on night photography .. and plan some go to those well known place with few friends (normally we go ~4 ppl) ..

but then the full star trail I share was from US .. think I feel safer while I was alone in a public reserve jungle ...

Jo-S said...

Does ND filter require??

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