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Old Jul 27, 2011, 3:14 PM   #1
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Default Thank you spy! First star photo!

I read spy's article on how to take photos of stars, last night. I followed his advice and took my first picture of the stars. I wasn't going for trails, yet (awaiting delivery of cable release); it was just an experiment to see if I could get anything. Because it was so successful (IMO), I just wanted to share.

Using my old SLRs, I was never successful in getting anything useful, due to film reciprocity. So, I was quite pleased with this success! I could not have done it without spy's tutorial!

Canon EOS Rebel T3 1100D
Shutter speed: 30 seconds
Aperture: f4.5
ISO: 1600
Lens: 18-55mm 5.6 kit lens (set to 18, I think - mistake! Should have been 55! Was 2am and I was sleepy...) AF turned off and IS turned off.

I was not in the darkest of areas, as I was standing on my porch, with the porch light turned off; but house lights were on. You can see, in the upper left corner of the frame, the corner of the porch roof.



Thank you so much for posting your fabulous tutorial, spy!
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Old Jul 27, 2011, 6:12 PM   #2
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I'm glad you came across the article. - http://www.bytephoto.com/forums/insp...awn-night.html

It always feels good when a shoot goes well. Now the fun of taking your new found excitement is to expand on it and include some interesting landscapes and other subjects!!

This is a great first attempt JeannieBug.
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Old Jul 27, 2011, 8:34 PM   #3
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Excellent first attempt, keep up the great work. Since i saw that we use the same camera try the following to get more stars to show up. Increase the ISO to 6400, then in the customs functions menu turn High ISO noise reduction to "Standard" and turn on the "Long exposure noise reduction" It will take longer (up to 30 seconds) for the camera to process the image after you have taken it, but will yield amazing results.

Also make sure to use the widest aperture you can use, if you are using the kit lens the widest aperture will be f/3.5

Hope this can help in some way for future shots...can't wait to see more!!!

-Travis-
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Old Jul 27, 2011, 9:15 PM   #4
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Thanks, spy and Travis! I admire the astro-photography of both of you, so that really means a lot to me.

I will go ahead and change those settings. I had turned off both of the noise reductions and I must say, I was surprised how little noise there was (I noticed there weren't many stars, but I was ecstatic that there were some and you could tell what they were!) But I didn't have the ISO maxed-out. I'll try it again tonight!

Thank you!
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Old Jul 27, 2011, 9:21 PM   #5
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We're waiting to see the results!
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Old Jul 27, 2011, 9:32 PM   #6
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Well, the camera is ready to go. I changed all of the settings and now it is just a matter of waiting until the sun goes down; it's actually still in the sky, here in my neck of the woods.

I ordered my cable release; and as soon as it arrives, I'll be out there getting some trails, too!

I'm so excited! Like a kid in a candy store!

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Old Jul 28, 2011, 1:23 AM   #7
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I took several photos tonight and they all came out the same, bad...

Focus set to 55mm
Shutter speed 30s
Aperture 3.5
ISO 6400
Both noise reductions set to on
Heavy tripod was used and there was no wind

The stars appear to be nothing but bokeh...

What did I do wrong?

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Old Jul 28, 2011, 3:27 AM   #8
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G'day Jeannie

Exposure is getting better ... focus has gone 'off'
Suggest you dial Manual Focus as well as Manual exposure ... 30secs x f2,8 to f5,6 whatever your lens has as its maximum opening.

You may need to take several test pix to determine best focus, then sticky-tape the focus ring to stop accidental movement

Q- are you also wanting to do "stacked" photos to create curved startrails?
If 'yes', see other postings here for references to a software product called "startrails.exe" available free from www,startrails,de

Regards, Phil
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 4:19 AM   #9
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It was my focal length... When I put it back to where it was with my first shot, they started coming out okay. Unfortunately, my test shots with the "old" lens setting also included my nice, bright kitchen window! LOL So, that (in the thumbnails anyway) appears to have caused some noise. But, I haven't blown them up and looked at them yet.

I do intend to do stacked photos to create the startrails and I downloaded the program last night, after reading spy's article. I originally wanted to do them in one shot, but after doing some research, I decided that taking several photos and stacking them is the best way to go. Before last night, I didn't even know you could do that!
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Old Jul 28, 2011, 8:26 AM   #10
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I see your using the 18 - 55mm lens. You've set your zoom to 55mm??, right? Are you wanting to zoom in close or wanting a wide (18mm) angle look? Your exposure should be set to -+0, right in the middle. The darker edges is from having exposure set in the negative.

If your wanting a dazzeling zoomed in shot, remember you're using a 3.5 - 5.6 kit lens. It can only be as good as it can be pushing the limits with your ISO's and wide open aperture. Zoomed in your aperture is 5.6, it's dark and slow. If your able to rent a wide 2.8 lens from your local camera store, you will be blown away with the difference.

For static, clear shots of stars, zoomed in all the way, set your shutter timer to max at 8 - 10 seconds, not 30. With this lens, that timing may only show dark images :^( but longer shutter speeds will only show rotation movement. Zooming out to 18, you can set the shutter to 20 - 30 seconds for clear crisp shots. Anything longer will show rotation.

I have to disagree with Travis (sorry Travis) on turning the Long exposure noise reduction "on" because 1. It eats up battery power and 2. if your shooting a 30 second shot, your internal camera processing will require another 30 seconds to process out the noise so you have a lot of down time and using up the battery when photoshop camera RAW program will remove most of the noise and all hot spots anyway.

Last point, always shoot in RAW. When editing, you need all the image data you can get for the processing.

Last edited by spy; Jul 28, 2011 at 11:52 AM.
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