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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    WyoDuner's Avatar

    My First Attempts at Milky Way

    My first ever attempt at photographing the Milky Way. These shots were taken north of Florence, AZ (source of light pollution) on a new moon night. The first square looking image was taken with a Nikon D5200, 18-55mm kit lens at 18mm and f/3.5 aperture, ISO 2000 and 20 sec exposure. This is a compilation of 15 exposures aligned and hot pixel removal in Deep Sky Stacker and stacked in Photoshop CS6. RAW images were processed in LightRoom 4 to correct for white balance, lens distortion, noise reduction, etc. The second vertical image was processed the same way except it was 6 exposures of 20 seconds taken at ISO 3200. Both exposures had a fair amount of noise and I think the 90 degree nighttime heat didn't help matters either. I was surprised how much more color I had in the ISO 3200 shots compared to ISO 2000.

    Biggest lesson I learned is that to the naked eye the light pollution didn't look too bad but once exposed - wow - is it obtrusive. I'm pretty happy with the results considering this is the cheap kit lens. I really want a faster/wider lens now....

    Oh, one other thought, focusing was a challenge even with highest ISO and zoomed in with Live View. I just focused on illuminated cactus as far as flashlight would reach and took a few high ISO test exposures to make sure it looked OK but I still don't feel as though it was as well focused as it could be.... Maybe a faster lens would make focusing on bright stars possible.

    Any feedback would be appreciated - good, bad or otherwise. Full resolution version are on my Flickr page.


    › See More: My First Attempts at Milky Way
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My First Attempts at Milky Way-_mw_iso2000_ps_final_1000px.jpg  

    My First Attempts at Milky Way-mw_iso33200_vert_ps_final_1000px.jpg  

     
    Thanks,
    Brad
    http://www.flickr.com/people/brad_schumacher/
    Camera D5200
    Lenses AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Pro II



  2. #2
    The Dude
    Dave_W's Avatar

    Re: My First Attempts at Milky Way

    Nice!! I really love shooting star images but I absolutely hate dealing with that damn sodium light pollution. You think you're out in the middle of nowhere taking photos of the black sky only to come home and see all the sodium orange down at the horizon. Try playing around with the individual color saturation levels and you can desaturate some of that orange-yellow glow so that it's a little less intrusive.
    Thanks/Like BackdoorArts Thanks/liked this post
     

    "i wanna live with a Cinnamon girl
    i could be happy
    the rest of my life
    with a Cinnamon girl...."

    AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED; AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED; AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED; AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G; AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII; AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G; AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VRII; AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VRII;

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    WyoDuner's Avatar

    Re: My First Attempts at Milky Way

    Thanks, Dave. Yes, I actually did reduce the individual yellow and orange luminance levels in LR4 but apparently to no great effect. I also had a strange purple-ish cast from the left side of all my exposures which is fairly apparent on the first image. It wasn't generated in-camera as it was always in geographically the same place - not sure what that's from but that combined with the yellow cast from the sodium lights mad a mess of the whole bottom of the images. Need to driver farther next time.
    Thanks,
    Brad
    http://www.flickr.com/people/brad_schumacher/
    Camera D5200
    Lenses AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Pro II

  4. #4
    The Dude
    Dave_W's Avatar

    Re: My First Attempts at Milky Way

    Instead of turning down their luminances, try desaturating those colors and once desaturated try increasing the luminance a tiny bit and it will somewhat washout the color and turn it more white-ish. I also tend to increase the luminance of the color blue to wash back to white some of the stars that turned blue when dialing in the WB.

    What lens and ISO did you use and what was the length of your exposures?
    Thanks/Like WhiteLight, BackdoorArts Thanks/liked this post
     

    "i wanna live with a Cinnamon girl
    i could be happy
    the rest of my life
    with a Cinnamon girl...."

    AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED; AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED; AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED; AF-S NIKKOR 28mm f/1.8G; AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII; AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G; AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VRII; AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VRII;

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    WyoDuner's Avatar

    Re: My First Attempts at Milky Way

    Ok, thanks for the tip... I get what your saying and it makes sense. Lens was 18-55mm kit lens at 18mm and f/3.5. 20 seconds at ISO 2000 in first image, 20 seconds at ISO 3200 on second image. Both samples were aligned and stacked 15 and 6 exposures respectively - primarily to average out the noise.
    Thanks,
    Brad
    http://www.flickr.com/people/brad_schumacher/
    Camera D5200
    Lenses AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Pro II

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    rikman's Avatar

    Re: My First Attempts at Milky Way

    Very nice


    Sent from my iPhone 4s using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Moab Man's Avatar

    Re: My First Attempts at Milky Way

    Pretty good, darn the lights!
    D5100, D7100, D600, D750, Df
    Lenses: Nikon DX 18-55mm, 55-200mm, 55-300mm, Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD & 200-500mm
    Prime: Nikon 35mm, 50mm, & 85mm f/1.8G, 300mm f/4
    Wide Angle: Tokina AT-X116 Pro DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8, Rokinon f/2.8 14mm (chipped)
    Macro: Nikon 40mm, Tamron 90mm
    ​Flash: Nissin MARK II Di622
    Stuff: Expodisc Neutral & Portrait
    ​Editing: CS6, CC, Nik Tools, Portrait Pro 12, Topaz
    Spyder4Pro
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Samsonite's Avatar

    Re: My First Attempts at Milky Way

    Wow, absolutely lovely colors... Well done! I don't think the light pollution takes anything away from these photos, infact in this case, I think it adds a really nice color contrast to the photos....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Samsonite's Avatar

    Re: My First Attempts at Milky Way

    When stacking the images, how do you align them to avoid getting the trails due to movement?

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    WyoDuner's Avatar

    Re: My First Attempts at Milky Way

    My First Attempts at Milky Way
    Quote Originally Posted by Samsonite View Post
    When stacking the images, how do you align them to avoid getting the trails due to movement?
    Quote Originally Posted by Samsonite View Post
    When stacking the images, how do you align them to avoid getting the trails due to movement?
    Samsonite, thanks for the nice comments. I use Deep Sky Stacker (freeware) for stacking the images. It identifies the stars and places them on top of each other. As a result, it appears that the ground is actually rotating but the stars are static - you can see the blurred sections of the ground as a result. I have to limit exposure time to about 20 seconds with to prevent the stars from looking too oval.

    Here is a 100% crop showing the oval shape of the stars due to the long exposure.

    My First Attempts at Milky Way-stars_crop.jpg
    Thanks,
    Brad
    http://www.flickr.com/people/brad_schumacher/
    Camera D5200
    Lenses AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Pro II





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