A&P *Hi-Res PIC* Star Pic: How to? Tips???

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Dismay, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. Dismay

    Dismay Elitist Prick OT Supporter

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    Hey elitist pricks ;), I'm in need of some advice. :x: Criticism, mockery, trolling is also welcomed.

    I am heading up to Death Valley this weekend and I want to take a pic like this one:

    [​IMG]

    How do I do it?

    Hi-Res version link: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0705/deathvalleysky_nps_big.jpg


    Apparently this was taken by some National Park Services scientist studying light pollution. Caption below pic on NASA website site (LINK) says he took 30 images and then put them all together in Photoshop. Says it is a full 360deg panorama. I don't need mind to be that huge.


    I don't want any star trails, but I am limited to using fairly small aperture lenses (Nikon 18-200mm 3.5-5.6 or my friend's Sigma 10-20mm). I do have a super sharp Nikon 35mm f/1.8.

    Of course I'll be shooting on a tripod. Using a D90 and IR remote to actuate shutter.


    So..

    Which of the 3 lenses should I use?
    How short of a focal length do you think I can get away with to minimize number of shots?
    ISO recommendation?
    Noise Reduction on or off?
    I only have a ball head tripod mount, which seems like it would be bad for a pic like this :hs: Still doable???
     
  2. SkiMax

    SkiMax OT Supporter

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    paging asignBAZ...
     
  3. ThexToddster

    ThexToddster New Member

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    Thats his name! Couldn't think of it. :bigthumb:
     
  4. Dismay

    Dismay Elitist Prick OT Supporter

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    I'm guessing he has some sweet XP on the matter? :x:
     
  5. ThexToddster

    ThexToddster New Member

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  6. Dismay

    Dismay Elitist Prick OT Supporter

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  7. EWhytsell

    EWhytsell New Member

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    If you use a wide angle lens with a fast aperture and keep the shutter time at or below 30 seconds you should be able to get usable photos.

    If I where doing it I'd try a 30 second shot and see if you like it. It should pick up a pretty good image. It would really be awesome with a D700 or other new high ISO camera.

    Then I'd set your timer to shoot 20-30 5 second shots and then combine those in photoshop to see how you like the result.

    The processing of an astro photo is very tricky and involved in order to bring out the detail while minimizing noise.
     
  8. EWhytsell

    EWhytsell New Member

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    If your at a very dark site you should be able to record the milky way very well. Though this time of year you'd have to do it in the early morning to catch the summer milky way.
     
  9. Dismay

    Dismay Elitist Prick OT Supporter

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    Thanks for the tips.

    I will be under just about the darkest sky in the United States there is :x:


    Depending on the moon of course.


    I'm somewhat equipment limited and very skill limited...but I guess we'll just have to see.
     
  10. P-chan

    P-chan New Member

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    Your problem is going to be with long exposures you aren't able to track the stars - Baz's setup has a motorized mount so that as the Earth moves, the camera moves with it, so you don't get the "streaks" from shooting stars with long exposures.
     
  11. Dismay

    Dismay Elitist Prick OT Supporter

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    Looks like I am screwed with the moon. It rises at 2150 first night and 2254 the second night and not setting until after the sun comes up. damn....

    and practically full :mad:
     
  12. ThexToddster

    ThexToddster New Member

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    :sad2:
     
  13. EWhytsell

    EWhytsell New Member

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    Yeah, astronomers learn to hate the moon. It washes out the background and you can't see deep space objects very well. Unless I have visitors who've never looked through a sizable telescope I don't even bother opening my observatory when the moons up.
     
  14. PackingMyBags

    PackingMyBags New Member

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    Yea, talk to BAZ.
     

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