M43rd for Astro? You bet! :)

Started Mar 19, 2018 | Discussions thread
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Muzfox Regular Member • Posts: 256
M43rd for Astro? You bet! :)

Astro season is kicking off here in Australia, the core is rising at a sort of nice hour, just before 11pm, so shooting between 11pm and 2am allows some sleep before the next day.

I headed out both nights this weekend, the first night to do a test run of new techniques, and the second to really let rip. Absolutely wrapped with the results. I've put up a lot of info in my latest blog post at http://bit.ly/2tTOI8G but will run through the basics here.

All taken using an Olympus OMD Em5.2 and the Oly 12-40mm Pro lens at 12mm.

I wanted to use as high an ISO for the stars as possible to get as many captured as possible. To combat noise, I used stacking and median blending of the stars in photoshop to average out the images and reduce noise significantly. I wored on 10 exposures for the sky, and then 1 exposure for the ground.

For my practice run on Friday night, I had Sky settings, ISO 3200, 12mm, 15 seconds, F2.8. I did a long exposure of 4 minutes at ISO 400 for the ground. Stacked, blended and merged the two together in PS.

I really like how this came out, but it was a little dark for me, so the next night I upped the ante. For these next 3 shots the settings were all the same. ISO 5000, F2.8, 15 seconds for Sky shots (10 of with dark frame noise reduction enabled) at 12mm. For the ground shots, I switched to ISO 400, F2.8, 12mm, switched into Live Composite mode with 15 second updates and light painted in the foreground subjects. The whole time I never moved the camera and used my phone to control everything, very handy.

This next photo has gone viral on my FB feed, I never knew there were so many tractor lovers out there. This is an old International.

And finally a shot of the local mountains making my way home at 2pm. A fair bit of post processing was required to get these right, but to be honest, it was all in aligning the stars for stacking, PS failed most times so I used the warp to manually align each image. Gets faster with practice. Foregrounds were easy to process, live composite makes it a snap to get them right in camera. Biggest tip is paint from both sides, to fill in some of the shadows, looks awesome imho.

I'll be doing a lot more astro this season with the techniques I've learnt. Youtube has some great videos on the post processing side of things too, well worth a view.


 Muzfox's gear list:Muzfox's gear list
Olympus E-M5 II Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro
Olympus OM-D E-M5
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