Monday, October 3, 2011

Look! Up in the sky...

Is this what a night sky, unpolluted by the city lights of Los Angeles, looks like?


While in Colorado last week I thought I'd try a night-sky exposure using my D300 and my dad's tripod. After taking a couple of shots using the 50mm (because it's faster than my zoom lenses) I went to the 10-24mm lens and set it at 10mm and the aperture wide-open at f/3.5. I set my ISO to 800, focused the lens to infinity at the Milky Way, and then took pictures at ever-increasing time exposures. I put the garage in the frame to give myself a point of reference (I was just fooling around, anyway). Then I pressed and held down the shutter-release button, using the stopwatch on my smartphone to see the elapsed time. The last picture, exposed for 122 seconds, shows the most detail but it's a little fuzzy because I was holding down the button and not using a cable release (I thought about bringing it but didn't). What's in the image is a portion of the Milky Way running through the constellation of Aquila.

I'm no astrophotographer, but it was fun for me to experiment and see what I could get.

(Shot with the Nikon D300 using the 10-24mm zoom at 10mm; manual exposure mode; aperture set to f/3.5; exposure time 122 seconds; ISO 800; auto white balance; normal JPG.)


  1. On starry starry night! What a beautiful shot:)

  2. Cool shot. Since I'm always trying to get shots of the greys with fast shutter speeds, I forget about long exposure possibilities.

  3. That is so beautiful. I hate it when the night sky is so amazing but I can't seem to capture it with my camera.

  4. Neat Steve!
    You've got more patience then me.

  5. Nighttime photography is something I'd like to play with more, but I never seem to get around to it. I suspect if I found a good spot to take the pictures from, that would make it more appealing. I think that shot you got is pretty darned cool, though! :)