Frustrated with this Forum's Photographic Examples

Started Aug 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
sssesq Senior Member • Posts: 2,023
Re: Frustrated with this Forum's Photographic Examples

Photo Pete wrote:

sssesq wrote:

Photo Pete wrote:

This is an equipment forum and we should expect posted images that show technical rather than artistic examples. It would be refreshing to see some more quality work though as those are generally the best examples of what a camera is capable of.

Personally I'd leave in-camera noise reduction turned off and handle noise reduction in post processing. The Capture NX astro noise reduction feature seems to work pretty well. Additionally you could use your own blackframe.

Another possibility is to break down your exposure into a series of 5-10 second exposures and blend them together in Photoshop using stacking with the layer blend mode set to lighten. This gives a lot more flexibility with noise reduction, reduces the long exposure noise and tends to supress the random noise in the image whilst boosting the star brightness.

Max ISO I'd consider would be 1600, but would much prefer to keep it lower. Any higher, even with D3s and D800, will mean that you are starting to run the risk of noise competing with the stars and creating a problem with noise removal.

MLU and delay release is good. Your tripod and head is also critical. You need something really steady and solid enough to avoid wind movement (you could also try hanging your camera bag or a stone basket from it). You're pointing your camera upwards so no need to extend your tripod legs. Keep it low and compact. I assume that you are using the viewfinder blind as well?

I'd also try a couple of sample frames before your full exposure in order to check focus. Most nikon lenses focus past infinity and aren't brilliant at focussing on stars. A couple of quick exposures will let you check this out and make any adjustments necessary.

Aperture should ideally be set at the optimum for the lens. Too wide and you will get aberrations around the stars, too small and you will lose definition due to diffraction. Probably best sticking around 5.6 for a wide aperture pro lens. It will be a balancing act between aperture, iso and star movement.

I don't think you will reduce the length of the star movement much at all, if you want to keep the aperture at its optimum and keep noise under control, not unless you want to invest in a tracking device.

Generally the feel of the photo is lovely (and that's what counts). The slight clouds and the orange glow from the farm add to the image in my opinion, but I'd include more of the ground or lose it altogether. The slither at the bottom is too small and I find it annoying.

Feel free to take on board any or nothing of the above!

Thanks a bunch Pete. I have taken the liberty to copy verbatim your advice and am keeping in my photo log.

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