Celebrate Dark Sky Week

El GatoEl Gato Global TrekkerRegistered Users Posts: 957 Major grins
edited April 6, 2021 in Other Cool Shots

Reduce light pollution, install warmer colored lights, shield lights downward so that light is not directed into the night sky.

As an astro photographer, a passion of mine...preserving the night sky for our children. Why...so they too can view in awe what amazed our ancestors.

Milky Way and the Southern Cross, photographed in Booderee National Park at Murrays Beach, southern Australia. I used a tripod-mounted Nikon D300 with a Tokina f/2.8 11–16 mm lens, ISO 800, with programmable shutter release.

The image was processed with DeepSkyStacker to concatenate 100, 20-second exposures taken at 21-second intervals and 30 dark images (shutter opened with lens cap on, taken immediately after the initial images were taken). Photoshop was used for minor adjustments, with Nik software used to reduce background and sky noise.

View of a dark sky with no ambient light or light pollution - heavenly!!


  • black mambablack mamba Major grins Jacksonville, FLRegistered Users Posts: 7,767 Major grins
    edited April 7, 2021

    Hey, Al. Astro photography is something I've never tried and really know very little about. But I know I like this shot. I have the same Tokina lens you used here. I don't use it a lot but it is definitely an exceptionally good wide-angle lens. Somewhere in excess of 90% of my work shown on our forum is shot with with a Tokina AT-X Pro F/2.8 20-35 mm. lens. I've always been a Nikon man, and still am, but those two Tokina lenses have proven unbeatable to me.

    I knew you had an interest in the astro stuff. That exceptionally good piece you authored and had published about the aurora borealis was a good clue. But you shouldn't have let me know that such stuff is one of your prime movers. Now I'll hound you unmercifully for more. Take care.

    I always wanted to lie naked on a bearskin rug in front of a fireplace. Cracker Barrel didn't take kindly to it.
  • CornflakeCornflake Major grins ArizonaRegistered Users Posts: 3,087 Major grins

    Beautiful, Gato.

    I saw the stars as a kid. For years I got to see them again on hunting trips. These days I never get to see them and I miss it.

  • JuanoJuano Major grins Lima, PeruRegistered Users Posts: 4,454 Major grins

    Gato, I share your passion for the stars. I have only tried a couple of times to shoot the milky way, it's always an experience to be able to.see it. Nice shot!

    I own a Tokina 17-35 and it is fantastic. I agree with you and Tom.

  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am San Jose, CARegistered Users Posts: 8,300 Major grins

    Nice Gato!

  • willard3willard3 Jefe Máximo Registered Users Posts: 2,482 Major grins

    Well done, Al, though I am quite ignorant of stars other than they make the night sky nice. B)

    It is better to die on you feet than to live on your knees.....Emiliano Zapata
  • El GatoEl Gato Global Trekker Registered Users Posts: 957 Major grins

    Thank you EVERYONE for your comments. I greatly appreciate them.

    I really enjoy astro-photography, it gets me out into the dark places and I can see so much more of the star-filled sky. Staring up in awe, at times I forget to press the shutter release. Don't miss the opportunity to get to a dark sky site, should the opportunity ever come up.

    Unfortunately, as of late (last year included) I do not seem to have the available time to get out to these dark sky sites as much as I would like to. I am due for an aurora trip, I try to go every three years or so (more often driven by the pocket book) and 2022 is "the year." We will see, as the pandemic is still effecting decisions at this time. So aurora photography as a niche, really excites me and drives my astro-photography passion..

    I am, however, but an amateur in this astro-photography field. Some of the "astro guys" I hang with are into astro-photography BIG TIME. They have invested $$$$$$$ into cameras, gear, scopes that have scopes and use all sorts of imaging software to render their final images. Their images are usually taken over multiple days, with 100's of frames and then post processed to render the final image. I will ask if I can share one or two of their shots to show what pro-level astro-photography looks like.

    I enjoy my meager kit and shooting on a budget, so-to-speak. I too have always shot with Nikon bodies and glass. However, as attested to by others here, the Tokina f/2.8 11–16 mm lens cannot be beat for performance and delivered output. It is my "go to" lens for a lot of of my shots. Love using it for IR landscape shots.

    Once again, THANK YOU everyone for your replies and comments!!

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