Stars in my eyes

The weather changed from cloudy to clear. This gave me an opportunity of one day to shoot some pictures. Unfortunately it was also the only opportunity I had to get some work done, and work takes precedence over play. I mean photography. Anyway the night was clear and the temperature was falling (from 10 down to -5) so I took advantage of it to shoot some more star shots. I did not do as much as I would have liked because it was cold and without gloves … well it takes several minutes per picture to take these, what with setting up and the long exposure and processing times. I still want to do some 1+ minute shots but they have to wait.

The equipment here is the Canon T100 with the 28mm f3.5 Super Takumar manual lens. Manual lenses are ideal for star pictures because AF and AE aren’t going to work anyway, so twisting the focusing ring to ‘∞’ and setting the aperture eliminates two operations per shot. Exposure here was ISO 800 (the Canon will handle higher but mostly it just adds noise – more than is worth the stops gained even with noise reduction at full) and 20 seconds, save the last one that was 30 seconds. No post-processing other than shrinking the dimensions.

stars1

stars2

stars3

stars4

stars5

I particularly like the little cluster in #3. All of them could do with longer exposure or some processing enhancement, but I wanted to show them as basic as possible. How do they look on your screen? They actually look better on the camera’s LCD than on my laptop! Here’s the final one ‘enhanced’ a bit:

stars5E

The added noise problem is an issue, and the only way around it really is a larger sensor which is truly more sensitive to light so that it gets the dim stars without adding in false image. I don’t think I’m going to run out and buy a 24MP camera just to take star pictures with though. Here’s a slightly different type of enhancement on pic #2:

stars2E

As you can see the base pictures can be altered in many ways. Desaturating to black & white, for example, would produce a different ‘feel’ altogether:

IMG_2062

There’s no end to the fun you can have!

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