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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> More Milky Way photography
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11/20/2010 09:10:26 PM · #1
Hi all,

Here are some results of my latest excursion to Wisconsin's dark sky country in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore to shoot the milky way. Some images can be found here and a youtube video documenting the effort can be found here.

Enjoy!
11/20/2010 09:28:15 PM · #2
Thanks so much for sharing the images and the video of your wonderful expedition. Just great!
11/20/2010 10:30:18 PM · #3
Those are beautiful. Tell us, for the record, how you managed the milky way AND the lighthouse lit? Just flipped the switches in the tower for a second?

R.
11/20/2010 10:40:45 PM · #4
Those are fantastic
11/20/2010 11:50:35 PM · #5
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Those are beautiful. Tell us, for the record, how you managed the milky way AND the lighthouse lit? Just flipped the switches in the tower for a second?

R.


I pop or two of a flash I would say but with all those stars it can also be just the lights from them, he says chuckling.

Fantastic exposures with superb clarity. Were they stacked or is this one exposure?
From the video I think these were a one exposure deal. Wow, would love to be in an area like this for a night or ten.
Thanks for letting us in on the fun. :)
11/21/2010 12:18:17 AM · #6
Great stuff! I love the lightkeeper's ghost in 8777. :)
11/21/2010 03:54:25 AM · #7
Wow, what are all those lights in the sky behind the lighthouse? Did you add them in Photoshop? They almost look like stars, but of course, there's way too many of them. It does make for a pretty picture though.
11/21/2010 08:00:20 AM · #8
Using my 7D mounted on a tracking telescope, we did a 3.5 minute exposure with the telescope drive turned on to capture the sky, then a second 3.5 minutes with the drive turned off. Photo #1 captures the stars (house and trees blurred), photo #2 captures the sharp house with stars trailed. The two photos are then carefully blended in photoshop (not NEARLY so straightforward as it sounds). During the 3.5 minute exposure of the house, one of our team "paints" the house with a flashlight for a few seconds. The light in the tower is on constantly throughout.

Mick, there is an odd, horizontal, somewhat rusty or reddish light scattered in the sky above the house and perpendicular to the milky way. We're still a bit puzzled over just what this was. My guess is that it's a very distant layer of high altitude clouds slightly illuminated by the closest population centers (which are dozens of miles more distant to the south. The direction is roughly right. Alternatively, it could have also been more local water vapor faintly illuminated by the tower light too.
11/21/2010 08:14:27 AM · #9
Originally posted by strangeghost:

Using my 7D mounted on a tracking telescope, we did a 3.5 minute exposure with the telescope drive turned on to capture the sky, then a second 3.5 minutes with the drive turned off. Photo #1 captures the stars (house and trees blurred), photo #2 captures the sharp house with stars trailed. The two photos are then carefully blended in photoshop (not NEARLY so straightforward as it sounds). During the 3.5 minute exposure of the house, one of our team "paints" the house with a flashlight for a few seconds. The light in the tower is on constantly throughout.

Mick, there is an odd, horizontal, somewhat rusty or reddish light scattered in the sky above the house and perpendicular to the milky way. We're still a bit puzzled over just what this was. My guess is that it's a very distant layer of high altitude clouds slightly illuminated by the closest population centers (which are dozens of miles more distant to the south. The direction is roughly right. Alternatively, it could have also been more local water vapor faintly illuminated by the tower light too.


I greatly appreciate you sharing the information on how you go the shot. I've been talking with a friend of mine who runs a planetarium down here, and she's going to let me piggyback my camera on one of their tracking telescopes. (I still have to figure out how do that). We're way too close to lights to have it work well, but it will still be fun.

What ISO & aperture were you using? Did you have the noise reduction on long exposures set?

Absolutely fantastic shot!! Thanks so much for sharing!
11/21/2010 08:19:20 AM · #10
Beautiful and amazing! Space is a such a mess!
11/21/2010 08:22:37 AM · #11
Wendy, good luck with your attempt!

For most of our shots, ISO was set to 2000 (yes, the 7D's noise control is that good) with noise reduction set to the lower or average position (forget what it's called and too lazy to go look at the camera). We also had dark framing turned on, so each 3.5 minute shot was accompanied by a 3.5 minute dark frame, automatically subtracted in camera.
11/21/2010 11:02:44 AM · #12
Great lookin' stuff John! Sounds like the expedition was a photographic success!
11/21/2010 12:33:22 PM · #13
Originally posted by strangeghost:

Wendy, good luck with your attempt!

For most of our shots, ISO was set to 2000 (yes, the 7D's noise control is that good) with noise reduction set to the lower or average position (forget what it's called and too lazy to go look at the camera). We also had dark framing turned on, so each 3.5 minute shot was accompanied by a 3.5 minute dark frame, automatically subtracted in camera.


thanks!! Last two questions: (well, probably not, but maybe...)

What aperture were you using and were you shooting RAW?
11/21/2010 01:33:19 PM · #14
Neat pictures, John...when will they be on the wall?
11/21/2010 02:17:59 PM · #15
@Wendy

These were shot with the Canon 10-22mm at f/4 which is just one stop shy of wide open. Not RAW. Believe it or not, I haven't shot RAW in a few years because I was still using Photoshop CS until late this past summer and I had no easy way to work with the RAW files. I have now since upgraded to CS5 and so I'm back in the game with RAW next time. Now that I go back to look at the tech details, these were all shot at ISO 1600. Shots at ISO 2000 were not really any noisier though. The 7D does a really sweet job.

@PuppyDogMom

I've got several largish canvas prints already, which look very nice, and I just took delivery of two framed and matted 16x20s, one for me and one for Smartypants.

-J
11/21/2010 03:17:05 PM · #16
Great stuff. Big thanks for me also for sharing your technique and steps.

One more question, though: How was the dark framing automatically subtracted in the camera? That's a great feature if you regularly shoot this kind of stuff.
11/21/2010 03:27:15 PM · #17
Originally posted by bohemka:

Great stuff. Big thanks for me also for sharing your technique and steps.

One more question, though: How was the dark framing automatically subtracted in the camera? That's a great feature if you regularly shoot this kind of stuff.


In Canon cameras, it's called long exposure noise reduction. Turn it on and the camera does it automatically. It's great for killing hot pixels and reducing overall noise.
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