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10-06-2021, 05:47 AM - 1 Like   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
As far as just taking a 20 second exposure - I can't see where you'd get those long star trails at such a small amount of time....
The idea is that you set your camera to interval mode, it takes a bunch of 20 second exposures, and then the software above (starstax) will combine them into one image. It works very well!


I could help you dial in that workflow if you're interested, pretty busy until the weekend. Looks like you're getting some good practice!


An example of starstax output. I didn't keep notes, but this would have been a bunch of short exposures.



10-06-2021, 06:10 AM - 2 Likes   #47
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A few tips:

1. You'll get more interesting images if you can point your camera due north at about a 40 angle (assuming you have an unobstructed view with no bright lights to the north).

2. Ignore the green button and auto-exposure modes. The meters in DSLRs don't give accurate readings in darkness and will tend to seriously underexpose the image.

3. Have fun!


P.S. Smoke is very bad for telescopes (and not so good for human lungs, either). The average cigarette emits about a trillion microscopic particles of tar that will tend to stick to any surface they come in contact with. The silvered surfaces of reflector telescopes (which are the most common style of larger telescope) are really really hard to clean without damaging the surface (plus the time required to completely disassemble/clean/reassemble/re-align the mirror) so telescope owners should be forgiven if they object to smoking anywhere near their instruments.
10-06-2021, 11:26 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
The idea is that you set your camera to interval mode, it takes a bunch of 20 second exposures, and then the software above (starstax) will combine them into one image. It works very well!


I could help you dial in that workflow if you're interested, pretty busy until the weekend. Looks like you're getting some good practice!


An example of starstax output. I didn't keep notes, but this would have been a bunch of short exposures.
Very very nice image!

I will have to look up how to do interval mode on my k-s2....

Regards,

Michael

---------- Post added 10-06-21 at 11:48 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
A few tips:

1. You'll get more interesting images if you can point your camera due north at about a 40 angle (assuming you have an unobstructed view with no bright lights to the north).

2. Ignore the green button and auto-exposure modes. The meters in DSLRs don't give accurate readings in darkness and will tend to seriously underexpose the image.

3. Have fun!


P.S. Smoke is very bad for telescopes (and not so good for human lungs, either). The average cigarette emits about a trillion microscopic particles of tar that will tend to stick to any surface they come in contact with. The silvered surfaces of reflector telescopes (which are the most common style of larger telescope) are really really hard to clean without damaging the surface (plus the time required to completely disassemble/clean/reassemble/re-align the mirror) so telescope owners should be forgiven if they object to smoking anywhere near their instruments.
1 - from my tinkering around with the angle the camera was pointed toward the sky, it almost looks like the camera was pointed straight at the horizon - our fence is certainly viewable!

2 -
10-06-2021, 03:06 PM   #49
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Took this a long time ago so forgot the exact settings, wired remote, hi continuous drive mode, manual exposure and focus, exposure set to my liking by taking test shots.

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10-06-2021, 05:28 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
I'm going to have to learn about taking photos in this mode. Is it one of the mode where the camera only takes in an image every time something in the sky changes ?

As far as just taking a 20 second exposure - I can't see where you'd get those long star trails at such a small amount of time....

---------- Post added 10-05-21 at 09:34 PM ----------

I'm at it again. Taking some star trail pics. Just took one at about 15 minutes from the back porch, and there is a lot of brightness in the photo. Will post it's pic in a few minutes.
Right now, I moved the camera to the back yard and pointed the camera straight up in the sky. Taking about a 10 minute exposure this time. Will post it also in a few minutes.
Will post both without post processing...

In the mean time. I'll share a story. When I taught 6th grade Science, the Science teacher on the other team was an Astronomy enthusiast. She smoked, as did I and I still do. She told me once that when she went to one of the nightly meetings, where everyone brought their telescopes, that she was smoking. Some of the other people got a little perturbed and told her that she would have to walk X feet/yards away to have a smoke, because they feared the smoke from the cigarettes would contaminate the lens on their telescopes. Some of them had pretty expensive telescopes. I think they were more concerned with smoke particles sticking to the telescope lens and affecting the image(s) they were seeing.

---------- Post added 10-05-21 at 09:59 PM ----------

All at f4, ISO 100, smc Asahi Pentax m-50mm macro f4 lens. No post processing on any of them yet....


Well, These 2 were from the back porch. A lot of over exposed areas.







And this one, from the backyard pointing straight up for 10 minutes. Nothing to see here at all - quite the opposite of the over exposed first 2. I guess I need to up the ISO when trying this again (tomorrow night)...



---------- Post added 10-05-21 at 10:04 PM ----------

Addenum: Nearly no histogram on the last one. I did mess with the "levels" in Gimp and got this out of it - lol....




Addendum: I just noticed that I had the switch set to AF instead of MF (manual) on the camera body to tell camera what type of lens is attached - don't know the affect this has had. Certainly did not use the green button for exposure. I expect switched to AF is more to tell camera body if one has an automatic lens attached...
No, it is mainly used for shooting action like sports. In this case it minimizes the interruptions in the trails.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 10-07-2021 at 02:50 PM.
10-06-2021, 07:45 PM - 1 Like   #51
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I took this tonight, using the invervalometer. Manual mode, 20 second exposures, ISO 3200, f5 (I think?). Intervalometer setting of 22 second for 150 shots. I then merged it in starstax. I'd try some settings kind of like this, I bet you'll get some neat results.
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10-06-2021, 08:16 PM - 1 Like   #52
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Giving it a quick try from my front yard with my Pentax K-5 on a tripod. 1150 seconds, f3.5, ISO 200. A little manipulation in PhotoShop to darken everything somewhat to bring out the stars more; the JPEG generated by the camera looks like a daylight scene. I also captured at least two airplanes flying by.

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10-07-2021, 06:51 AM - 2 Likes   #53
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I was going to write this last night, but was too tired from a hard day of being retired - and just went to bed. There is a surprisingly wide array of approaches to both shooting and processing star trails one can use. Probably hands down the best definitive guide to all things star trails, is available for free (as in beer) at.... You don't have to read through it first - but just scroll thru it beginning to end - just looking at the images for ideas.There are two main shooting approaches 1) single long exposure - say for 20 minutes; and 2) many long - but relatively shorter exposures - say 40 exposures at 30 seconds each, taken in rapid succession (continuous shooting mode). Each of these approaches affords a wide range of results.
  • Single-shot very long exposure - you wind up with getting what you get, a single frame of star trails. You can control the heaviness or the thickness of the star trails somewhat by stopping down the aperture. Wide-open the lens will produce a sharp but possibly somewhat overblown thick star trail. However, stopping down some 2/3 to 1 stop, will produce a much sharper, better-defined trail (much less overblown).
  • Multiple shots - relatively long exposures - can yield the same result as the single shot, but also affords a lot of additional processing choices. There is free stacking software available - StarStaX, StarTrails, etc. or lightroom, photoshop, gimp, etc. The software affords you a number of options. Let's say you shoot 150 frames of 20 seconds each. You can control the length of the star trails by just processing together 50, 75, 100, 120, or all 150 frames together. You can process the results with the very short gaps (frame to frame) in them, or have the software fill them into a full continuous star trail. You can also, have the software weigh the trails differently as they are stacked together, resulting in a "comet" like appearance - with the start of the trail being fainter, and as the trail lengthens it gets somewhat brighter. Lots of user post-processing variations.
Anyway - lots of things you can do with both shooting the frame(s), along with post-processing them together. You can even process them into videos - with the trails getting longer and brighter over time. Only limited by your imagination.

Here is a good overall startrails tutorial....

Last edited by interested_observer; 10-07-2021 at 06:56 AM.
10-07-2021, 08:42 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I was going to write this last night, but was too tired from a hard day of being retired - and just went to bed. There is a surprisingly wide array of approaches to both shooting and processing star trails one can use. Probably hands down the best definitive guide to all things star trails, is available for free (as in beer) at.... You don't have to read through it first - but just scroll thru it beginning to end - just looking at the images for ideas.There are two main shooting approaches 1) single long exposure - say for 20 minutes; and 2) many long - but relatively shorter exposures - say 40 exposures at 30 seconds each, taken in rapid succession (continuous shooting mode). Each of these approaches affords a wide range of results.
  • Single-shot very long exposure - you wind up with getting what you get, a single frame of star trails. You can control the heaviness or the thickness of the star trails somewhat by stopping down the aperture. Wide-open the lens will produce a sharp but possibly somewhat overblown thick star trail. However, stopping down some 2/3 to 1 stop, will produce a much sharper, better-defined trail (much less overblown).
  • Multiple shots - relatively long exposures - can yield the same result as the single shot, but also affords a lot of additional processing choices. There is free stacking software available - StarStaX, StarTrails, etc. or lightroom, photoshop, gimp, etc. The software affords you a number of options. Let's say you shoot 150 frames of 20 seconds each. You can control the length of the star trails by just processing together 50, 75, 100, 120, or all 150 frames together. You can process the results with the very short gaps (frame to frame) in them, or have the software fill them into a full continuous star trail. You can also, have the software weigh the trails differently as they are stacked together, resulting in a "comet" like appearance - with the start of the trail being fainter, and as the trail lengthens it gets somewhat brighter. Lots of user post-processing variations.
Anyway - lots of things you can do with both shooting the frame(s), along with post-processing them together. You can even process them into videos - with the trails getting longer and brighter over time. Only limited by your imagination.

Here is a good overall startrails tutorial....
Thanks for all the information, I will definitely take a look!
10-07-2021, 10:00 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Took this a long time ago so forgot the exact settings, wired remote, hi continuous drive mode, manual exposure and focus, exposure set to my liking by taking test shots.
nice - love the circular trails

---------- Post added 10-07-21 at 10:01 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ecostigny Quote
Giving it a quick try from my front yard with my Pentax K-5 on a tripod. 1150 seconds, f3.5, ISO 200. A little manipulation in PhotoShop to darken everything somewhat to bring out the stars more; the JPEG generated by the camera looks like a daylight scene. I also captured at least two airplanes flying by.
good capture! the airplane trails look very similar in my photo

---------- Post added 10-07-21 at 10:02 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
I took this tonight, using the invervalometer. Manual mode, 20 second exposures, ISO 3200, f5 (I think?). Intervalometer setting of 22 second for 150 shots. I then merged it in starstax. I'd try some settings kind of like this, I bet you'll get some neat results.
nice job!
10-07-2021, 04:04 PM - 1 Like   #56
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Tonight looks like clear skies....Will try to get out there, deeper in the back yard, and point the camera straight up for some star trails....
10-07-2021, 07:03 PM   #57
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Shots from tonight. No post processing yet. Left the static pic(s) there so maybe some enthusiast astronomers here can identify some of the planets in the pic(s). And yes, the tip to point the camera slightly north shows the circular pattern - thanks!

Addendum: On this first one, I believe there is an airplane? From the bottom right towards the center, there is a straight line. No blinking lights this time - just a very straight spider web thin line until it disappears near the center. Glad I kept this one so you guys/gals could investigate it. Click on image then click on it again, while in flickr, to zoom in to see it.








& on bottom part of this image, another airplane I believe



Upon closer inspection on this one, I think an airplane in the upper part of the image - with the classic blinking light showing up...



Last edited by Michael Piziak; 10-07-2021 at 07:56 PM.
10-07-2021, 07:34 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
Shots from tonight. No post processing yet. Left the static pic(s) there so maybe some enthusiast astronomers here can identify some of the planets in the pic(s). And yes, the tip to point the camera slightly north shows the circular pattern - thanks!

Addendum: On this first one, I believe there is an airplane? From the bottom right towards the center, there is a straight line. No blinking lights this time - just a very straight spider web thin line until it disappears near the center. Glad I kept this one so you guys/gals could investigate it. Click on image then click on it again, while in flickr, to zoom in to see it.










Airplanes usually have the blinking lights, but you might have captured a satellite.
10-07-2021, 07:53 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by ecostigny Quote
Airplanes usually have the blinking lights, but you might have captured a satellite.
You mean I didn't make a major astronomical discovery? Like a very rare and yet to be seen yet comet or something equivalent?

Big Smiles !

10-07-2021, 09:45 PM   #60
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Here is a good link on - How to tell the Difference Between Planes, Satellites and Meteors.
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