Night photography help

hensil

Guru
Ankur,
Recently I have also got interested in astrophotography. According to my limited understanding Arshad is correct. The 500 rule (which is not actually a rule of physics but approximate value) is for full frame and for APS sensor it should be multiplied by 1.5. As you correctly said the focal length of a lens does not change on different size sensor but the angle of view certainly does and that is small sensor will render narrow FOV.
Also the star movement is there (earth motion) in a picture irrespective of focal length or sensor size however it is less noticed in wide angles compared to telephoto because the stars are less magnified.
To get sharp picture of stars one has to use the camera on a tracker.

Now to answer the OP's question, if you want to focus at infinity you could easily do it focusing on the moon, even auto focus. The scene you wanted to shoot, that is the mountains and lake would certainly be at infinity. If there is no light source for focusing use a torch light to light an object at 20 ft or further or place the light at that distance and focus on it.

If you want to shoot stars without noticeable trails then use the following settings
500/focal length for FX, for DX x1.5
for exposure use the following
f/1.4 - ISO 400 - 30 secs
f/2.8 - ISO 1600 - 30 secs
f/4 - ISO 3200 - 30 secs
f/5.6 - ISO 6400 - 30 secs.
If you have older camera with not good high ISO sensor you'll have to use a technique called pictures stacking using specialized software. Astrophotography do this to get deep sky photos like galaxies.

Henry

PS:If you just want to shoot landscape in the moon light, use a tripod, keep whatever aperture and use corresponding shutter speed in bulb mode.
 

ThePilgrim

Well-Known Member
Heya all
Yesterday night I tried my hands at capturing star trails. Though I was in the most imperfect setting, roof of my 2nd floor house in brightly lit Chandigarh city, all I wanted was to understand basics and be as much prepared as possible for the night I'll get to spend somewhere where it is much darker.

I took only a test <6 minutes shot to see if I managed to set focus correctly etc. I didn't even try to point my camera towards North Pole. Fighting with mosquitoes was another parallel occupation on the roof at that time, hehe.

The result is posted below:

IMG_8997.JPG


As you can see, small trails have been captured considering exposure was only <6 minutes.

Quick question:
1. The sky became this yellowish-orangish-whitish-wierd color, lol. I guess that it is due to all the light pollution around and not some settings/technical-know-how that am missing. If there is anything that am missing, or there is anything that could be done to improve it further in similar city conditions, please do suggest.

Any other comments/feedback is also welcome.

Quick Info:
Camera: 600D
Lens: 18-135mm
Filter: Marumi UV filter
Focus: Manual at Infinity
EXIF: f/3.5 415s ISO-100
White-Balance: Auto and Metering: Evaluative
 

ThePilgrim

Well-Known Member
While I await assistance on question above, here is my IInd attempt, done yesterday night from my balcony amidst all street lights.

I took 200 shots, each having 45s exposure at f3.5.
The roof edge at top is bluish due to a street light lamp right below my balcony.

Startrails_1200.jpg


Any feedback will be appreciated.

Cheers
 

Ankur003

UltraWideLife.com
I liked the results fairly acceptable.
Sky looks yellowish due to light pollution. Try to play with white balance slider to fix it
 

ThePilgrim

Well-Known Member
Thanks @Ankur003
Another quick question please:
I tried shooting a few buildings at night. I found a building with top floor having no lights but lower floors brightly illuminated. The lower floors in that 30s shot came decently sharp, but upper floors (or darker areas) of the photo showed much noise.
Any tips?
Should I post the photo in reference or you can offer a quick advise as is?

Thanks a lot again.
 

hensil

Guru
Thanks @Ankur003
Another quick question please:
I tried shooting a few buildings at night. I found a building with top floor having no lights but lower floors brightly illuminated. The lower floors in that 30s shot came decently sharp, but upper floors (or darker areas) of the photo showed much noise.
Any tips?
Should I post the photo in reference or you can offer a quick advise as is?

Thanks a lot again.
Did you use the 'Long exposure noise reduction'(black frame subtract)? At 30s any camera without Long exposure noise reduction will show noise.
 

ThePilgrim

Well-Known Member
@ThePilgrim Please post the photo.
@Ankur003 I am sorry, but I have lost that pic in particular.

Anyways, there is this pic I clicked in a garden yesterday night. I used least possible ISO-100 and there was almost pitch darkness around, so much so that naked eye could only make out basic shapes and no details.

So, I used exposure of about 90s. Focus was set using a flashlight. The image shows LOTS of noise. I understand a few things about sensor heat-up, dark frame subtraction etc. My basic question is -
in terms of settings or my technique involved, is there anything that could have been done differently to get lesser noise in the first place.

Settings:
ISO-100
f/16
18mm
90s

Camera: 600D with a UV filter
Lens: 18-135mm

The light trail you see in pic is my wife walking on that bridge with a torchlight in her hand.
I have been drooling over tack-sharp and almost zero-noise photos posted by you guys in many threads, especially long-exposure photography project. Any suggestions that can help a no-skill rookie like me to improve will be real help.

IMG_9491.JPG
 
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