|Thursday, 17 June 2010 23:33|
Windmill at star night
Besides birds and tulips the boys had one another target of our trip to Dutch Texel Island – windmills! Our everyday programme on the Island had always the same scenario – waking up before six in the morning, rushing to the bird spot to catch the very first beams of the rising sun, breakfast, resting, exploring the Island, photographing birds during sunset, dinner and early “departure” to the bed to be fresh the next morning. One day we broke this scheme - Pali and Evžen found one very nice windmill close to our B&B and planned to go taking night shots with the star sky – I could not miss that opportunity and joined them.
Milky Way as a white blur on the night sky:
There was clear sky at that evening – pretty ideal condition for taking pictures during the night but it interfered with our determination to wake up again early in the morning – we had to wait until ca. 23.00 to have as dark sky as possible. To make the stars trails long enough on the picture while using wide-angle lens, one has to set up the exposure time to at least 30 minutes to achieve the desired effect on the photograph. It is easy to imagine that getting three photographs of the star trails can easily take 2-3 hours – you must take into account the delays when setting up the camera as well as the simple task to find the best shooting spot in the total darkness and not to die during that adventurous journey through fields and fences :-). Spending few hours beneath night sky is amazing but what made me not that happy was the thought on the morning alarm clock and the cold wind blowing strongly at that night.
I have always admired the pictures of night sky either they were elaborate images of Space objects or the “classical landscape format” shots that everyone can make using the simplest and cheapest consumer reflex camera. My very first shot of night sky was the mountain with the radio transmitter located right out of our window here in Norwegian Bergen but during the PC reinstallation last week I must have lost this particular image. It is quite pity as the nights are now too bright here to see the stars and we move out from our current house in just few weeks…
The Space swirl:
How to make night shot with star trails? It is very easy and there are certainly many tips on the internet – simply mount the camera on a sturdy tripod and set the exposure to 30 minutes or longer. Use the remote control and light lens is also an advantage. Then just push the button and wait. If you are not owner of the remote control you can as well take series of subsequent 30-seconds shots and then blend the images into one in a special freeware software (e.g. Startrail)… The biggest issue of the night shooting is that you actually do not see anything in the viewfinder so how to orient yourself? How to check the composition, horizon and focus? By trial end error method – set up high ISO (6400 or so), focus to infinity and take few-seconds exposure – the resulting image can easily be checked on the camera LCD. When everything is as you want, change the camera setting to original values (as for example ISO 100, F 4.0, 30 minutes) and start the exposure. The drama comes really after the exposure itself – when you check the picture you have just taken – if you have made some mistake at the beginning, you can start over again. When the exposure takes several hours than you can happen to be kept awake for the whole nigh… So good luck with your night shooting!
|Last Updated on Friday, 18 June 2010 06:44|