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02-27-2014, 02:36 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Photographing stars with the GR

Out in the Anza-Borrego desert... beautiful clear skies, no city lights, so many stars. Put the GR down on the road looking straight up, on self-timer, M Manual mode, took three tries to arrive at f/2.8 for 20 seconds, ISO 800... which worked well enough to get the image into Xara Photo & Graphic Designer and post-process it a bit.

There's a whole genre of star photos... an area that I know nothing about. But it seems that if the exposure is too long, the stars stop being dots and start making visible streaks. They are moving, or the Earth is moving, or both. On the other hand, if the time is too short, the whole picture is just black, as you would expect.

Have no idea what these stars are, what constellations... but I'll use this photo to composite into other images that need a starry night... and will probably get rid of that really bright one that looks like a motorcycle headlight.

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02-27-2014, 03:06 AM   #2
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That really bright one is what makes this photo interesting.
02-27-2014, 04:10 PM   #3
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Guess so!
Question -- I forgot to manually focus on infinity for the star picture. The GR hunted back and forth for a few seconds, then took the picture... and the stars were in focus, even at f/2.8. Now, this was a black night -- just starlight. VERY dark. Does the GR default to infinity when it can't get an autofocus lock? Or -- was it able somehow to autofocus on those stars?
03-08-2014, 01:05 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Guess so!
Question -- I forgot to manually focus on infinity for the star picture. The GR hunted back and forth for a few seconds, then took the picture... and the stars were in focus, even at f/2.8. Now, this was a black night -- just starlight. VERY dark. Does the GR default to infinity when it can't get an autofocus lock? Or -- was it able somehow to autofocus on those stars?
I'd be interested in that answer. I'm not sure. One thing is for certain that my old GRDIII locked focus much faster and more accurately in situations like this one though... here's a shot on the beach on the Coromandel a few years ago. (I think this was the same night I got sand in the lens assembly which was the demise of this little guy a couple days later til I got it fixed months after that).The cam was on the ground at f1.9, 30sec at iso800, I believe.

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03-08-2014, 01:50 PM - 1 Like   #5
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That's a beautiful picture -- so many stars -- too bad there isn't a Pentax Planetarium Projector we could put pictures like that in and project onto flat white ceilings...
03-09-2014, 09:00 AM   #6
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What can be attributed to the red in Chicken's night sky?
03-09-2014, 11:46 AM   #7
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These pictures come out looking like that -- I desaturated the color in mine somewhat, before posting. It's the long exposure time... I think any little tints of color just add up and become very visible. Something like that? Have also noticed that the photos from the Space Telescope are very colorful!
03-09-2014, 12:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
What can be attributed to the red in Chicken's night sky?
If you mean the very slight bits at the edges there were a couple street lights, a very long way off that likely illuminated a couple tree but barely enough to be noticeable.
This shot makes it more apparent.
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/117658803310762693600/albums/544212457240...03310762693600

03-10-2014, 01:13 PM   #9
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okay, so we can rule out redshift.
03-11-2014, 11:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHD Quote
okay, so we can rule out redshift.
hahahaha - i should have just stayed silent and let the hypotheses roll in!
03-14-2014, 06:51 PM   #11
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Today, moved those stars from the Anza-Borrego desert west to the California coast, to enhance the sky over Del Mar Plaza, a snapshot out the window of my car. Used Xara Photo & Graphic Designer for rapid compositing.
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Last edited by jon404; 03-14-2014 at 07:09 PM.
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