Milky Way - Need Help

zack2137

Leh'd and how!
Very Informative, Absolutely Amazing Pics from Experts.

I my want to experiment shooting a Star Trail or Milky Way. I will be a Perfect Location for doing the same, although I am not sure if it will be a Perfect Time.

Few Questions - Should one shoot the Milky Way or Star Trail only on Moonless Night?

Do we require an UWA Lens for shooting the same? ( I am currently using Canon 17-40mm F-4 L Lens)?

Few Tips, Just for Practice before the D-Day.


Thanks in Advance !!!
Ashish
I tried it with my 16-85 during the last trip to C'tal. I couldn't get a good frame since the milky way was right overhead. The moon has risen by then, but yes, with moon in the frame, you're likely to get a lot of distraction.

You need a tack sharp picture for milky way stuff. If the stars begin to trail, it will look weird. There's a formula to calculate the maximum exposure you can keep without getting a trail from the stars. I don't remember it exactly but it was 2.5 times the FL I think. Again, not sure. Check it up. Click on that very exposure, ISO set to 800 or so. Try to keep a mountain or a tree in frame for scaling.
 

ashish0712

TravelForNirvana
I tried it with my 16-85 during the last trip to C'tal. I couldn't get a good frame since the milky way was right overhead. The moon has risen by then, but yes, with moon in the frame, you're likely to get a lot of distraction.

You need a tack sharp picture for milky way stuff. If the stars begin to trail, it will look weird. There's a formula to calculate the maximum exposure you can keep without getting a trail from the stars. I don't remember it exactly but it was 2.5 times the FL I think. Again, not sure. Check it up. Click on that very exposure, ISO set to 800 or so. Try to keep a mountain or a tree in frame for scaling.
Thanks for those Insights, Looking forward to Experiment. May try to get my hand on Tokina 11-16 2.8 specifically for Star Trail :)
 

zack2137

Leh'd and how!
Thanks for those Insights, Looking forward to Experiment. May try to get my hand on Tokina 11-16 2.8 specifically for Star Trail :)
Tokina is simply lovely. I haven't processed my pics yet, else I would have shared them with you. I didn't nail it really since I kept fumbling with the ISO. The colours got messed up and the sharpness got dissolved in trailing stars. Another day maybe! :D
 

KurtRules

Come as you are!
camera: D3100
Lens: Tokina 11-16mm DXII
16mm || 15 secs || ISO1600

Hope this helps

View attachment 580592
Ankur, where was this taken? Also, do you have to stitch your images or just take one shot to capture?

I understand that once you focus to infinity and once to the foreground, and then stitch the two images together. However, I have been reading people stitch up to 50 images to get that perfect image :( Once concept that I am finding hard to grasp
 

hensil

Guru
Ankur, where was this taken? Also, do you have to stitch your images or just take one shot to capture?

I understand that once you focus to infinity and once to the foreground, and then stitch the two images together. However, I have been reading people stitch up to 50 images to get that perfect image :( Once concept that I am finding hard to grasp
Kurt,
Is this your name?
No, it is not stitching but merging. Stitching images is to place them side by side to get one huge resolution image for printing whereas merging is to lay one picture on top of other and mix them to either get more dynamic range (black to white) or show the slow movement of images over time (star trail).
Henry
 

Ankur003

UltraWideLife.com
Ankur, where was this taken? Also, do you have to stitch your images or just take one shot to capture?

I understand that once you focus to infinity and once to the foreground, and then stitch the two images together. However, I have been reading people stitch up to 50 images to get that perfect image :( Once concept that I am finding hard to grasp
Vaibhav,

I see, we are loosing a biker to a photographer... ;)

Anyways on to your question:
Where : This was shot in Kawah Ijen, Indonesia. Check this blog post for more details.
This is one shot. In fact all images in above mentioned post are one image. However, I have light painted the foreground objects (trees) using a LED torch, as it was pretty dark.
Manual focus set to infinity.

There are multiple ways to achieve desired results.
Ideally one should take two images, one for sky and one for foreground and blend/stitch them.
Expert photogs take 10-15 images to get the complete milky way. A very nice article , step by step here
Its upto you how you visualize your shot.

Frankly speaking getting inspiring images of Milky way requires a lot of planning and time. A moonless, cloudless night is a must thing.
Pro photogs know the rise and setting time and direction of rotation of Milky Way. This helps in planning the orientation of Milky way with the foreground object. Scouting the foreground object/area is another thing.
A little knowledge about celestial bodies is good to locate Milky way properly. For example, Sagittarius constellation can help locate Galactic Center. Try to download stellarium, a free app for desktop for visualizing the Milky Way details and viewing direction and Google Sky, for android to locate celestial objects.
Summer Milky way is what we see in most of the images. Summer is coming, I clicked these images last June.

10991535_10204492011355040_8042925264771098251_o.jpg


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And yes as Henry mentioned, Blending and stitching are two different processes.
 

KurtRules

Come as you are!
Thank you for the explanation.

I have downloaded stellarium, now will figure out a way to use it.

And the biker shall always be a biker. Till the I don't have a bike here, I figured why not shoot and scoot :D
 
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Chetan Kulkarni

Super User
I think Ankur has covered most things. One thing you might find challenging is focusing at night. What I normally do for focusing at infinity is to put the camera on the central focus point which is normally the most sensitive one. If the moon is in the sky (which is counterproductive for Milky Way shots) then focus on the moon with autofocus and then set the AF to manual. Alternatively look for Venus which is also pretty bright.

Use live view for reconfirming the focus and composing images as well. We do get carried away with Milky Way but a great composition is equally important.

MilkyWay Panorama.jpg
 
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