Lee Ballard Photography

A photo journal

Star results

And here is the best result from last night’s star photography. It’s technically a ten minute exposure but rather than one 600 second exposure I tried 20, 30 second exposures and layered in Photoshop.

Ten minutes

Ten minutes

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Stars in the lens

Tonight was a beautiful night for stargazers and photographers alike. The moon is but a mere slice of it’s cratered beauty and the night was cloudless and clear. A real time to have a go at star photography if you have yet to try it. Now I have had a go at this aspect of life behind a lens in the past with some success. I hadn’t planned on doing any shooting tonight but then thought I’d pop out and stand in the field at the end of the road for an hour and experiment a little.

The main experiment I wanted to try was to utilise different ISO’s. In the past I had always used 100 or 200 as a speed and was happy with the results however I read an article a while ago where it was suggested that more stars were visible to higher ISO’s. Obvious really but I didn’t expect quite so many more. The camera really does see far more than the naked eye when the settings are right. The picture below was shot with an ISO of 1600, shutter open for 30 seconds and an aperture of F/3.5. Now noise does start to creep in so I think next time I’ll play more with 400 and 800 and I shall also drive a little way to try and reduce the light pollution. I have the venue in mind so as they say somewhere or other, ‘watch this space’.

The image below is not quite straight out of the camera, I tweaked the contrast a little and turned it mono to reduce the effect of the light pollution.

Stars at 1600 ISO

More than the eye can see

And in true ‘Blue Peter’ style, here is a moon image I shot last year.

The Moon

The Moon, enlarged from a shot through just a 250mm lens

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