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Nightscape photography - What am I doing wrong?

limvo05
Rising Star

Hello Experts,

 

My first night in Zion National Park was a disaster. I tried to take photos of the night sky but to no success. Despited the fact that I thought I did everything right to get a decent photo of the stars, the photo came out BLACK!

 

Below are the settings:

 

1. Manual settings.

2. Focal length was 24mm

3. Applied the 500 rule, i.e. 500/24 = roughly my shutter speed (21 seconds).

4. ISO 2000

5. Aperture 2.8

6. Manual focused on the distant star.

7. Steady tripod.

 

There was no wind, or cloud of any kind. Granted there was no milkway to been seen, that said, I was expecting to have at least captured all the stars when looking with my naked eyes.

 

Please let me know what I am doing wrong? I am heading over to Bryce Canyon tomorrow morningm hopefully, I'll figured out what I am doing wrong by then.


Thank you,

LV

31 REPLIES 31

kvbarkley
VIP

Hard to say.

 

I took the following (after a moon shot - hence the long lens) with my 150-600 lens at 150mm, f/5, 15 secs, ISO 400.  It is a shot of Orion. Note that star trails are visible. You should have gotten more than me.

 

You only took 1 shot?

 

IMG_3688.JPG

 

 

ebiggs1
Legend

"1. Manual settings.

2. Focal length was 24mm

3. Applied the 500 rule, i.e. 500/24 = roughly my shutter speed (21 seconds).

4. ISO 2000

5. Aperture 2.8

6. Manual focused on the distant star.

7. Steady tripod."

 

8. Bracket  <--- you new best friend  Smiley Happy

 

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

kvbarkley
VIP

Sounds like you did enough right to be close and get *something*.

 

If your camera is an APS camera, you need to use the equivalent focal length for your calculations.

 

 

http://learn.usa.canon.com/resources/blogs/2016/20160812-schall-star-shooting-blog.shtml

I am using the Canon 5Ds.

 

I am begining to wonder if I have to do a whole lot of post processing to get anything decent?

 

Will try again tonight. Last night in Zion before heading over to Bryce.

 

Stay tune for uodate, thanks

LV

FYI. I tried ISO 3200 and it was horrible, so grainy.


@limvo05 wrote:

I am using the Canon 5Ds.

 

I am begining to wonder if I have to do a whole lot of post processing to get anything decent?

 

Will try again tonight. Last night in Zion before heading over to Bryce.

 

Stay tune for uodate, thanks

LV


Post processing helps, but if you are in a dark sky situation you should be able to capture a lot.

 

830E107F-F742-434D-AA05-2E5DC999E467.jpeg

 

Taken 15 miles from Times Square, and the camera was pointed towards Times Square.  Any other direction would have put street lights in the frame.  I was ready to toss this photo, and decided to play with it.  I didn’t reallly see how much it captured until I turned out the room lights.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

Just realized I took these at 70mm instead of 24. That said, below are the series of photos taken at different ISO. Clearly ISO 100 has the least stars captured but the photo is relatively clean. I would say even at 1600 it is still reasonable, minus the fact that I can't really focus at night without my reading glasses LOL!

 

Thanks,

LV_L7A4225.jpg

 

 

_L7A4226.jpg

 

_L7A4230.jpg

"Just realized I took these at 70mm instead of 24."

 

24 vs 70, doesn't matter.  It is the exposure that matters.  The 70mil will have more streaks, star trails, then the 24mm would have.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

This is what I taken the following night @24mm, f2.8, ISO 1200 @25 seconds. Minor adjustment was done to remove the pesky lazer beams shown by unconsiderate folks LOL!

 

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