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Astrophotography/Astrolandscapes further explored
Lens: SMC Pentax-M 28mm f/2.8 Camera: Pentax K-50 Photo Location: Prince Gallitzin State Park 
Posted By: Auzzie-Phoenix, 10-25-2014, 02:55 AM

Since we've had (mostly) clear skies for the past 2 nights, I went out to the lake and tried my hand at more astrophotography/astrolandscape shots. The primary target for many of the shots is the milky way (which just so happens to conveniently go directly above my usual fishing/night photography location). Most of the images are taken with an aperture setting of f/2.8. I do realize that I over-exposed some of the shots (had to go re-shoot some shots due to ruining the exposure with too much EV boosting/compensating). There are a LOT of pictures (many of them same angle, but with slight tweaks to the exposure), these were taken over the past 2 days- 10/24/14 and 10/25/14. I'm only posting the best ones here in the thread, but all shots including the left-outs are visible in my album which is now accessible to the public.



















Photobombed..... by a meteor. The shutter was already open and most of the way through the exposure timer when a meteor shot across the sky unexpectedly. Luckily the timing was pretty good.











I really am loving this 28mm lens. Next step will be to try tracking down a lens with better aperture while still being wide angle (28mm or below, fixed prime).
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10-25-2014, 04:39 AM   #2
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Great capture of the meteor! You also have some nice images of Orion and the nebula.
10-25-2014, 08:02 PM   #3
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Thanks. I've been playing around with the exposure in-camera, but a lot of times I go too far over or under still. It's pretty hard to see the nebula here, doesn't show up that well. In fact, I can barely make it out when I'm aiming the lens, so I end up taking trial and error shots to get the milky way in center of frame. I usually end up with a bit of a time constraint as well. Seems that even though the weather stations say clear skies, the sky above the lake tend to cloud over regardless any time between midnight and 2am (and then stay like that). Orion is a really common sight at the lake though. Usually if you can't make out anything else, there he is. I really can't wait until Nov. 1st though. That's when all of the lights at the park get turned off for the season, so I'll have more choices on where to shoot.
10-25-2014, 09:43 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Auzzie-Phoenix Quote
Thanks. I've been playing around with the exposure in-camera, but a lot of times I go too far over or under still. It's pretty hard to see the nebula here, doesn't show up that well. In fact, I can barely make it out when I'm aiming the lens, so I end up taking trial and error shots to get the milky way in center of frame. I usually end up with a bit of a time constraint as well. Seems that even though the weather stations say clear skies, the sky above the lake tend to cloud over regardless any time between midnight and 2am (and then stay like that). Orion is a really common sight at the lake though. Usually if you can't make out anything else, there he is. I really can't wait until Nov. 1st though. That's when all of the lights at the park get turned off for the season, so I'll have more choices on where to shoot.
Hope you get some great results in November! FWIW I have been over-exposing astro photos and correcting in post editing. I'd really like to try stacking, but so far I haven't had any luck with getting the software to work.

10-25-2014, 10:16 PM   #5
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quite an improvement over your first post. I really like when you combine some landscape into your shots, great job and keep It up
10-26-2014, 12:57 AM   #6
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Thanks a lot bob, definitely going to keep at it. I love shooting at night. Even my dud shots teach me something, which in turn is helping me make better decisions. The best thing I've done so far is to make the decision to shoot manual mode almost exclusively. Because of that decision, I'm learning the camera and lenses much more effectively by doing everything in a hands on fashion. And the old saying still holds true, nothing better than practice practice practice. I've taken well over 700 shots since the first post, and each one is an important lesson to me.
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