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Night Sky

I am sure that you are all aware of my new found curiosity in terms of night sky photography, for those that know me they will not be surprised as I have almost always been fascinated with the universe and humbled by its vastness. It is only natural that I should find myself staring into the ether and wanting to capture it.

During our camping trip I worked on capturing stars which was tricky without a remote to start the exposure (when you press the button to take the photo, it shakes the camera and that shake appears on the exposure and blurs the image). Anyway it occurred to me while I was snapping the silky waters of Cedar creek that perhaps I could use the self timer instead, and after some trial and error it worked perfectly.

Fast forward to Sunday night and we are home and the kids are asleep in their beds and I thought perhaps I should have a go at the stars again with my new found hack. Given I live in Goodna there is a fair amount of suburban light pollution so my expectations were not terribly high but overall I was rather pleased at my first attempt.

Below is the first decent photo I took, you can see the southern cross in there (or maybe the fake one, I cant tell the difference) I worked out pretty quick that my exposure time needed to drop significantly due to the amount of light around (my first photo was a white screen). The clouds were very low at the time which is what you see between me and the stars. Its actually being lit by the streetlight that you cant see in the image but is at the end of my street.

NIKON D5000 F/4 20s ISO-500 18mm

This is taken in the same position but I moved the angle of the camera upwards relative to the earth, without all the trees the camera’s sensor picked up many more stars this time around. I am stuck as to which is my favourite of the two, possibly the second.

NIKON D5000 F/4 20s ISO-500 18mm

My in laws live at Karana Downs where I will find myself on Thursday night, the light pollution is minimal comparative to Goodna and so I shall attempt to capture something pretty and post it then.

Until then however I shall leave you with this one, it is from my backyard at about 8pm looking over Goodna (the bright lights in the bottom right hand corner) and towards Brisbane (hence the night sky being so well lit). You can see two planes have been captured during the exposure (the yellow stripes) and very few stars. This is actually almost exactly how it looked to the naked eye so I was pleased with it, not a star shot but a pretty evening photo of suburban skies. For those interested, the exposure time was 10 seconds so those planes are moving ;-)

NIKON D5000 F/4 10s ISO-200 18mm

This post was originally made to facebook, you can locate it here:

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