Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: A little question....Milky Way

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    30 miles south of Lubbock TX
    Posts
    317
    Real Name
    Kris Harmon

    A little question....Milky Way

    I have been seeing some absolutely amazing pictures of the Milky Way recently and would love to try my hand at getting a picture of it. I would also like some advice on doing star trails so I guess this is probably a two part question.

    I live in central Texas. I understand the need to get in an area as dark as possible before doing either a picture of the milky way or star trails. My questions are these;

    1. Where in the sky can I view the Milky Way in my geographic location?

    2. What is the best time of night to view it?

    3. What recommended ISO, F-stop, and shutter speed should I use to attempt these pictures. At least a good starting point for the settings.

    Question #3 applies to the star trails as well.

    Thanks,

    KHarmon

  2. #2
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    787
    Real Name
    Mark Fleming

    Re: A little question....Milky Way

    Kris,

    This article should help with the first two. I'll let others chime in with the last as I've only ever had mediocre results.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    30 miles south of Lubbock TX
    Posts
    317
    Real Name
    Kris Harmon

    Re: A little question....Milky Way

    Well....all of this might be a mute point from what I'm reading. The Canon I shoot don't quite have the ISO capacity that this guy is mentioning in his article. Might be one of those things that I just have to wait until i can afford to upgrade equipment.

    KHarmon

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,713
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: A little question....Milky Way

    Quote Originally Posted by KHarmon View Post
    Might be one of those things that I just have to wait until i can afford to upgrade equipment.
    Not at all. This is a high-end pro talking about what he can do with the very, very best of equipment, But that doesn't mean that you can't produce high quality work. There are always perfectly acceptable work-arounds. The secret is in terms of nailing the exposure, so that you don't end up with lots and lots of noise. So, if you can't crank up your ISO to the sort of figures that he's talking about, then you're going to have to do more work with the other variables open to you; i.e. aperture and, more likely, shutter.

  5. #5
    FrankMi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    6,294
    Real Name
    Frank Miller

    Re: A little question....Milky Way

    Hi Kris! I found Jim Richardson's article very interesting but I also noted that he was working under a very strict set of guidelines that you may or may not want to impose upon yourself.

    "No layers in Photoshop. No multi-image, bracketed-exposure HDR computer magic. No telescope-mounted clock-driven hours-long exposure."

    Donald has some excellent points and I'm sure that there are those in the forum that can provide additional details on how to go about achieving your goals if you can work around some of Jim's self-imposed limitations.

  6. #6
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    787
    Real Name
    Mark Fleming

    Re: A little question....Milky Way

    Guys,

    The reason I put that article up was Jim Richardson talked about timing and the fact that to see (or record) the Milky Way, you have to have a really dark sky, good conditions and then to use in camera noise reduction. And he mentions some basic in camera settings to get good results. Equipment nowadays is irrelevant. Apart from a tripod.

  7. #7
    Jim B.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    1,218
    Real Name
    Jim

    Re: A little question....Milky Way

    This will help you with locating the Milky Way in your area. It's free.
    http://stellarium.org/

  8. #8
    Markvetnz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
    Posts
    639
    Real Name
    Mark

    Re: A little question....Milky Way

    A little question....Milky Way
    220 images f8.0 ISO1600 40second exposures. Stacked using Robert Brown's stackamatic script in CS5

    here is a link to my website with a milky way image
    http://photofinishnz.com/milky-way-over-mount-wakefiled
    WB 3700k, iso 6400 11 seconds f4.0

    The biggest problem with this type of photogrpahy is onviously noise and light pollution (aircraft/satellites etcZ

  9. #9
    Markvetnz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
    Posts
    639
    Real Name
    Mark

    Re: A little question....Milky Way

    Good starting point for star trails is f7.1 ISO200 4 minute exposures
    always turn long exposure noise reduction off for star trails, but on for milky way shots
    An excellent smartphone app is Google Skymaps - makes finding polaris or circumpolar stars simple.
    I also use The Photographers Ephemeris to determine moon rise and set.
    Google Scott Martin photography.
    Also http://www.thenightskye.com/

  10. #10
    Momo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    177
    Real Name
    Darren

    Re: A little question....Milky Way

    One of my Flickr contacts, James Neeley, takes some wonderful Milky Way photos. Check out this link and see for yourself. You can read his EXIF information to see his settings and perhaps get a better idea as to how you might proceed with your own camera.

  11. #11
    drjuice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    310
    Real Name
    Virginia

    Re: A little question....Milky Way

    You might want to take a look at George Lepp's column in outdoorphotographer.com/columns/tech-tips/ from the summer of 2011 (I think it was July or August). In any case, I found it very helpful when I started making star track pictures. I did mine at Badwater in Death Valley National Park which is about as dark as any place I can get to easily. And, as I recall, he has a specific question addressing the Milky Way. And, the picture Mark added to this thread follows the general recollections as I recall them for how to tackle the Milky Way.

    v

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •