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Old Jan 19, 2011, 5:44 AM   #11
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Slightly reworked version. This one I selected the best 10 frames and processed in AutoHDR before aligning manually with normal layers:

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Old Jan 19, 2011, 7:23 AM   #12
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Excellent!

Thank you for sharing your workflow as well.
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 7:37 AM   #13
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Thanks. I'm feeling inspired now so I'm going to try some stars tonight with the same process - combining lots of short exposures instead of a few long ones.

I've done star-trails before but the FZ38 doesn't do well with them because after every 60s exposure it spends another 60s doing something else. That means you can't stack them without lots of gaps appearing in the trail.
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 9:24 AM   #14
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Wow Martin! This one is outstanding. Very nice. I haven't done star trails but I thought of doing it if I am ever away from the city light and it's in the summer. Last night's photo was tough since it was so cold. I spent more time trying to just get a shot I could test with. I was sort of in a rush in my slippers on the patio.
I shot it in P mode ISO 80 (if I recall) with LA5 & LT55 and it was over exposed. I can see why you shot it in manual.
Thanks for you process and tips. I hope to get some more later and try your Auto HDR as well. Looks very cool for sure.
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 9:30 AM   #15
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Easiest way to avoid over-exposure is to remember to use spot metering. I think really I should have shot in RAW for a slightly better result but to be honest I don't think it would have made that much difference. Will definitely use Raw for stars though as I'll need to get even the very faint stars that the noise reduction would remove.

I don't really understand star-trails with the FZ38 - after the 60s exposure, what is it doing for the next 60s? It might just be to deal with the CCD sensor getting too hot if you use it for too many long exposures back-to-back but it makes nice joined-up star trails impossible.

I've got one more idea for a moon shot to try out. I want to try stacking shots taken on as many days of a full month as possible. I think the crater detail you'd get would be amazing.
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 9:34 AM   #16
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I will try the spot metering next time - thanks. If I ever get trails with my FZ40, I will post them and see if the same hold true. I expect it will. Never the less a pretty fun camera to have at this stage of my ignorance
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 10:14 AM   #17
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wondeful work martin..just fantastic..
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 10:22 AM   #18
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Thanks.

Incidentally, When using many layers, I found the opacity needs to be set as follows:

Bottom layer - 1/1 = 100%
Second layer - 1/2 = 50%
Third layer - 1/3 = 33%
Fourth layer - 1/4 = 25%

And so on, 20%, 16%, 14%, 12%, 11%, 10%, 9% ...

That way each layer contributes equally to the final image.
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 5:23 PM   #19
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Inspirational shots. Thanks for sharing.
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