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Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 03-02-2018, 04:35 AM  
Crested Tern waiting for dinner
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 14
Views: 403
Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii)

Juvenile waiting for dinner. Taken at Point Nepean (3818'06.1"S 14439'06.4"E), Victoria, Australia, 24 Jan 2017.

A small group of juveniles were waiting on a small beach at the end of the Point while parents brought fish from inside Port Phillip Bay. Shadow is an adult Crested Tern, but not the parent of this individual.

A[art from cropping a little brightening, there's no processing on this photo. I'm not that clever.
Forum: Photographic Technique 04-16-2016, 12:57 AM  
Astrotracer shows trails, what am I doing wrong?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 107
Views: 18,145
Not always, this was a 300 second exposure with AstroTracer, which is all it gave me for 10mm focal length. The focus isn't all that amazing away from the centre (it's a fish eye lens, so the edges are problematic when blown up), but the tracking seems to be OK. I've seen the hook shaped tracks somewhere (it might have even been in this thread), but I don't think it's because the tracking can't cope with the focal length. Perhaps the lens isn't reporting its focal length properly to the body?
Forum: Photographic Technique 04-14-2016, 12:15 AM  
Birds in flight photography - looking for some tips / advice
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 26
Views: 5,105
An interesting question - I should try disabling it for the user mode I've created for birds in flight.

I went out for a trip last weekend, and besides getting sick, I took a couple of hundred shots of passing Cockies and Galahs. I think that the real secret is practice. You do improve. This one I'm pretty pleased with, but it's only one out of heaps of poor attempts.
Forum: Photographic Technique 04-13-2016, 11:06 PM  
Astrotracer shows trails, what am I doing wrong?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 107
Views: 18,145
With the K3-II, when you have the GPS set on, and you're in bulb mode (and having done the 'precise calibration dance'), you'll find that you can adjust the exposure time up to a point where it will stop. That's the AstroTracer saying it won't go any further than that because the stabilisation can't move the sensor any further.

That's your limit.

I don't know if it works the same way with the O-GPS1 external GPS.
Forum: Photographic Technique 04-11-2016, 04:05 PM  
Astrotracer shows trails, what am I doing wrong?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 107
Views: 18,145
Thanks for that, Oricman. I do shoot in RAW+, so I compared the colour balance in the "thumbnail" JPG (after having increased its brightness and contrast, but without changing the WB). You're right, I'm way too much into the red. In GIMP, I was trying to enhance the colour without changing it, but it looks like I got it wrong at that point. I'll go back and have another go.

As to the aurora, yeah, maybe just faint. I've never seen Aurora Australis myself, so that's a surprise. Where the photo was taken was a long way from any light pollution - there's a village called Rainbow about 36km south, which is about the right direction, so it might have been the faintest glow from that.

On an unrelated point, I think that I've strayed off the original topic for this thread.
Forum: Photographic Technique 04-10-2016, 07:39 PM  
Astrotracer shows trails, what am I doing wrong?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 107
Views: 18,145
Just returned from the desert having had only one clear night. I took some AstroTracer shots, which would probably not amaze people on this forum, but I have a lot of questions for the assembled experts.

I'm a little puzzled about the colour. This show looks a little too red, but how do people determine what the actual colour is?

I've tried to use some L+RGB post processing on this image. What that means is that I processed the RAW image for some lens distortion, and maybe brighten it a little before saving it as an 8-bit TIF I then opened it in GIMP and copied it as two layers, one of which is a monochome layer which is used to determine overall brightness, and the other is the RGB layer, which I blurred using a despeckle filter. This layer gives overall colour, so doesn't have to be sharp.

What I want to learn to do next is add a graduated subtraction layer to correct for the overall "air-glow" (and in other photos, some light pollution). This is the green glow near the horizon. Any hints as to what I should do?

Bill
Forum: Photographic Technique 04-02-2016, 11:34 PM  
Birds in flight photography - looking for some tips / advice
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 26
Views: 5,105
Oh My God - that is AWESOME!

I've been trying to improve on birds in flight for some time now, and my strategy is a little different. TAv with f/8 and 1/1000, and let the ISO float. This seems a little odd, but it's better to get a sharper dark photo that you can post process a bit rather than a blurry image that isn't any good for anything. Centre spot focusing only, just practice until you can keep that spot on the bird. I do use centre weighted metring, and +1EV to compensate for the inevitable backlight.

And like a number of people have said, practice practice practice - I'm still pretty awful but I'm improving.
Forum: Photographic Technique 04-02-2016, 11:21 PM  
Astrotracer shows trails, what am I doing wrong?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 107
Views: 18,145
Actually I'm not sure that it is useful with an AstroTracer, which (to the extent it can) follows the movement of the stars. The rule of 600 is for cameras that do not move to compensate. If you took a very long exposure of the sky using an AstroTracer, depending on where you pointed it and the focal length of the lens, you could get an hourglass trail pattern. I've seen this demonstrated on a different site - maybe one of the earlier posts linked to it.

Because some amount of trails is always going to happen in a shot using an AstroTracer, there will be a similar kind of rule of thumb, but I've no real idea what the numbers might be. However, a guess of something like half the maximum the camera allows might be a good start.

I'm going to be spending a few days in the Australian desert late next week, fingers crossed I might get some nice shots. I've got a good selection of lenses, a 10-17mm fish eye, a 50mm f/1.4, an 85mm f/1.8 a 150-500mm f (I've forgotten but something pretty horrendous) and a Meade LS6 1540mm f/10.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 03-05-2016, 05:49 PM  
Abstract Why the flag?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 3
Views: 584
Gratulerer med dagen!
Forum: Photographic Technique 03-04-2016, 11:07 PM  
Astrotracer shows trails, what am I doing wrong?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 107
Views: 18,145
Jealous? Me?

Yes...
Forum: Photographic Technique 03-04-2016, 04:33 PM  
Astrotracer shows trails, what am I doing wrong?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 107
Views: 18,145
Again, better shots than I'm getting with 500mm. I've got a new 10-17 fisheye now, but the shies are cloudy here at the moment. No astronomy plus no birdwatching = frustration!!
Forum: Photographic Technique 03-01-2016, 02:54 AM  
Camera clicking during astrotracer exposure
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 10
Views: 1,976
Yes, after having changed lenses about 10 times and listened carefully, the second hand click does seem to happen on all the lenses. The grinding sound is the IBIS when you pick the camera up during live view and it works really hard.

I haven't really done much testing on one lens and then re-calibrating before taking a second exposure, then repeating ad nauseum, but I feel that the calibration doesn't last all that long - maybe a half hour before it could be improved by doing a new precise calibration. I also notice some trails around the edge of the frame, which I think is probably normal. Having said that, some of the photos taken by jamas79 (from the other side of the planet from me) are excellent, with the stars being nice points with no trailing obvious.

As to strategy, I'm of the opinion that because AstroTracer seems to work better at the short focal length, so I'm going to play to this strength using a Pentax-DA 10-17 and getting some near whole-of-sky shots. The deep sky objects like M42 (which in this context means the Orion Nebula) I'll use a Meade LS6 instead. I just have to wait until those pesky clouds move away...
Forum: Photographic Technique 03-01-2016, 12:50 AM  
Astrotracer shows trails, what am I doing wrong?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 107
Views: 18,145
I can't see trails on any of those photos, they look very very good. What's the last one - is it Andromeda? That's phenomenal! You can't see that from Australia.

There looks like there's a bit of noise there - do you use stacking software, like DeepSkyStacker? That will get rid of a lot of that for you.
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-27-2016, 12:21 AM  
Astrotracer shows trails, what am I doing wrong?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 107
Views: 18,145
Yes I do, but I think I might give up trying to use the 500mm for deep sky shots, I've got a Meade LS6 (which is effectively a 1560mm f/10) which probably does a better job, combined with DeepSkyStacker

I'll be using the AstroTracer for wide angle shots, and I ordered a Pentax 10-17 from BH. The AstroTracer was the main reason I got the K3-II.
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-23-2016, 02:48 AM  
Camera clicking during astrotracer exposure
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 10
Views: 1,976
Thanks for that, yes a "second hand click" is a very good description of it. i don't think it's responsible for any shake, but I think my tripod maybe isn't heavy enough for the 500mm setup. I've decided to change tack and use a Meade LS6 (1560mm f/10) for deep sky stacked long exposures, and have also ordered a Pentax 10-17 from B&H which I'm assuming will be a lot less probe to shaking on the tripod and get me nice whole-sky shots with the AstroTracer. Looking forward to the delivery.
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-10-2016, 03:11 PM  
Astrotracer shows trails, what am I doing wrong?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 107
Views: 18,145
This is my setup, a K3-II married to a Sigma 150-500 f/6.7 (I think), on a pretty heavy Manfrotto tripod. I use an electronic cable release giving me programmable interval shooting (which is very useful for stacking images later) but I'm not sure if I can lock the mirror up prior to taking a shot using the cable release. I'll have to fiddle with that. I also read (here, I think) a trick to make the tripod more stable by hanging a bucket from the head with a few bricks in it. I'll see if that is possible.

...and Uppsala, an old friend of mine (best man at our wedding 30 years ago) is a professor at the University there (he actually lives in Marielund). We lived in Bergen in Norway for three years and only got to visit him once - he tends to come down here a couple of times per year. But Uppsala is wonderful.

Forum: Photographic Technique 02-10-2016, 03:35 AM  
Astrotracer shows trails, what am I doing wrong?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 107
Views: 18,145
Um, who were you asking?

Oh, and Uppsala? Awesome!
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-10-2016, 01:49 AM  
Astrotracer shows trails, what am I doing wrong?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 107
Views: 18,145
Wow! And that's straight up - it shows that the AstroTracer really can do it!

And living Down Under helps there - people in the Northern Hemisphere really don't get a good look at the Galactic Core.

Smugly living in Melbourne...
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-09-2016, 01:46 AM  
Astrotracer shows trails, what am I doing wrong?
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 107
Views: 18,145
Hurrumph. My shots look pretty much like yours. I think I've got a reasonable handle on the AstroTracer - involving the "precise calibration waltz" that you have to do. It's no problem, it's normally dark so few people will see you doing it. My real problem is sharpness of focus, even with mirror-up focusing. I've tried a number of lenses, starting with the old kit lens (DA 18-55 f/5.6). It's a decidedly average lens, but it's close to the right focal length. The other lenses range from an old 85mm f1.8 with an M42 screw mount, which looks promising. I've also tried the Sigma 150-500 f/6.7 stepped down to f/8 which is the sweet spot for the Sigma - but I've not made it work properly, even with good calibration. I think it's so heavy it wobbles the tripod slightly - I haven't tried locking the mirror up, I'll have to give that a go.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 01-17-2016, 01:10 AM  
Hello from Melbourne in the Land of Oz
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 11
Views: 702
G'day Tas, most of my ages are of birds. Some good, some pretty average, but the thing about bird photos is you can't organise them to do the right thing. My images have got a lot better since I destroyed my Sigma 400 prime MF from the 80s up at Lake Tutchewop and replaced it with the new 150-500. Awesome lens, just the ticket. Only cost me a grand and a lot of favours for the Missus!
Forum: Pentax Q 01-16-2016, 11:28 PM  
Q7 and the Big Sig Try a Dance
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 31
Views: 3,618
Great reach isn't it? I love my Sigma 150-500, (on a K-3 II) but my rule is that if the bird isn't in direct sunlight and I can't stop it down to f/8, whatever photo you get is going to be crap.
Forum: Photographic Technique 01-16-2016, 11:20 PM  
Camera clicking during astrotracer exposure
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 10
Views: 1,976
On a hazy Sunday afternoon I decided to do some daytime tests with the AstroTracer and a variety of lenses to see if the clicking I've been hearing is there for all lenses.

It is! It's very quiet, and you have to put your ear right next to the camera to hear it. It's a quiet pop, exactly once per second. I can't tell if it shakes the body or not.

So I'm not certain what to do now - is it something that the internal AstroTracer just does in the K-3 II, or is it something that just my camera does (in which case it's a problem).

If any other K-3 II owner has the opportunity, can someone set up a short AstroTracer shot and repeat this test? (It doesn't need to be longer than 10 seconds) You'll have to do the precise calibration, and listen carefully to the camera as the exposure is taken (with the cap on during the day if you like).

Finally - some opinions. With the Sigma 150-500 on and extended, can people advise whether this setup is stable enough to take an AstroTracer photo?
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 01-16-2016, 09:05 PM  
K-3 and in-lens stabilization
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 44
Views: 4,639
No, sorry, I'm talking about the OS in the lens, which I use in preference to the in-body SR for stills. Not video.
Forum: Video and Pentax HDSLRs 01-16-2016, 07:03 PM  
K-3 and in-lens stabilization
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 44
Views: 4,639
I've also got the Sigma 150-500 APO HSM, and the OS works fine. I got mine in February 2015 in Australia, so it might be old stock - but I doubt it because I had to wait. Serial number on the lens is 14813502.

Disable the in-body stabilisation when using in-lens OS, and it works nicely.
Forum: Photographic Technique 01-16-2016, 05:30 PM  
Camera clicking during astrotracer exposure
Posted By skogpingvin
Replies: 10
Views: 1,976
Thanks for the suggestion.

The body is pretty new - only with about 2800 shots so far. The clicking isn't like the video posted at https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/58-troubleshooting-beginner-help/226032-k...ml#post2398894, it's a quiet click once per second - you have to listen for it.

---------- Post added 01-16-16 at 05:32 PM ----------


Thanks Grippy.

Was the shot you were making using the AstroTracer?
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