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  1. Thank you all for your comments ! I'm very happy that you liked my film ! Thank you !!!
  2. Introduction I’m very happy to present you my first personal night sky timelapse project named “Keep Looking Up” which I filmed for over a year ! I began filming on May 2016 until September 2017 with a lot of effort, as my main job at that period was demanding in terms of time and I only had one or two days per month to film. So I had to plan everything in detail before even leaving home, so as to make the best use of the time I had in my disposal. Locations The filming locations were some of the darkest places in Greece and chosen carefully as I tried to split the sceneries between mountain and sea locations. One of the most beautiful location and also one of the darkest, not only in Greece but also in Europe, and for me by far the best one to view the night sky, was the top of Helmos mountain where the big telescope “Aristarchos” is located. A difficult to approach location located at an altitude of 2460 meters, with constantly changing weather conditions, from clear skies to wall-thick fog in only a few minutes, but when the weather is clear, the stars and the Milky Way Galaxy core are shining with all their glory ! Scouting and planning of the filming locations was done from my office using tools like Google Earth and Stellarium, although for some tricky scenes I used Photopills to accurately achieve the result I wanted. For the last scene of the film, the night to day sequence, which I filmed for more than 5 hours at the snowy peak of Panachaiko mountain at an altiude of 1700 meters and a temperature of -3C, I also used the QDSLRDashboard application on my tablet to be able to change the exposure levels as needed while transitioning from the clear night sky to the shiny sunrise at the end of the scene. Gear The main camera I used for the project was a Nikon D800. Actually I had two of them along with a Nikon D750. I still use the D800 with great results, despite being “old” and even after buying the amazing Nikon D850 which now is my workhorse for astro and landscape photography. The main wide angle lens used most on the project was the Nikon 20mm F1.8G, which for me is an amazing lens for astrophotography. The focal length of 20mm is in my opinion the best for this type of photography, being as wide as must be, and with the big aperture this lens can capture more light while not blowing the ISO levels very high, because the old but trusty D800 becomes very noisy even from ISO 1600. It is also very light and portable, and one other great feature is that it takes 77mm filters, like the Hoya RA54 Red Enhancer filter , which I used for all my scenes to decrease light pollution levels. The second main lens I used was the Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art which also is a great, although the coma it produces in the corners is very visible when using it wide open. Still provides a very pleasing perspective on nightscapes and especially when capturing the Milky Way core, as it seems “bigger” to the viewer. Other camera gear I used was two Sony cameras (A7s and A7R2) and lenses like the Tokina Firin 20mm, Nikon 24mm F1.8G, Sony 28mm, Canon 55mm F1.2 and Nikon 85mm F1.8G. For motion control I used the Syrp Genie 3-axis system and a lot of sturdy tripods to support the system. In some cases I also used a star tracker, the Vixen Polarie, and to fight the gathering of moisture in the front element of the lenses, I used dew heaters from Vixen. Ending Thoughts I’m not perfect and some things were out of my control, for example the weather conditions, which had as a result a lot of scenes to be lost especially in the beginning. Of course I also made mistakes but I tried hard and I enjoyed the whole journey, and the most important, I Kept Looking Up !
  3. I'm very proud for being part of this project !It was an amazing experience capturing nightscapes, the stars, the Milky Way galaxy all those nights out there.Sometimes alone with only companion my camera, sometimes with friends and family.BUT, above all, I'm very happy and feel even prouder, that I was able to help my good friend Panos to reach his goal of making a great video for his dad.You can read the whole story behind the video here : http://www.panosphotographia.com/greekskies/ Keep Looking Up
  4. If you remember my previous post (http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/245203-milky-way-from-mt-chelmos-greece/#entry2664994) about being unlucky and not reaching the big telescope on the top of the mountain back at May, it looks like that I finally got lucky and reached the top in the middle of November ! As you may know, for the past 20+ days here in Greece we have an amazingly good, hot and clear weather ! So, it was the perfect opportunity to reach the 2320m altitude location of the Aristarchos Telescope (http://helmos.astro.noa.gr/#). The weather was outstanding, with no humidity due to some medium winds, and the temperature just over 0 Celcius. So, for this image I wanted to capture the enormous telescope with the Orion Nebula and I used the Vixen Polarie Star Tracker taking two (2) seperate exposures of 60 seconds each, one for the sky with the tracker on, and one for the foreground with the tracker off, although there is still some movement on the telescope because it was operational at the time (it was constantly moving as it was "stargazing").Flickr : https://flic.kr/p/AvM76jI still have a lot of images to process, but my free time is very limited these days.I will update as soon as I have them ready !
  5. Thank you all for your kind words ! There is a lot more to come in the near future !
  6. Thank you all !!! I forgot to mention that all pics are single exposures, so no subs, bias, flats, darks, etc. I spend most of my time there shooting a series of photos for a timelapse I'm currently working, so my time was limited. As for the exposure times (EXIF), it is the following respectively : 1st pic : f/1.8 ISO 500 15sec @ 20mm 2nd pic : f/1.8 ISO 2000 21sec @ 20mm 3rd pic : f/1.8 ISO 1600 17sec @ 20mm 4th pic : f/1.8 ISO 1000 24 sec @ 85mm
  7. Just two weeks ago, late night of Saturday (16) and the first morning hours of Sunday (17 of May), more than twenty Greek astrophotographers (including myself), gathered for our Astrophotography Night Event at Chelmos Mountain (also known as Aroania), to photograph the night sky at an altitude of 2.000+ meters. Our goal was to spend the night at the peak of the mountain, at 2.340m altitude, where the telescope "Aristarchos" is located. Actually, is one of the darkest places in Greece and Europe, and obviously the reason why the telescope was built there, literally at the edge of nowhere ! But, despite the good and relatively hot (for the season) weather, we couldn't reach the telescope area due to snow. Instead we base camped at the half of the trail at 2.100m, at an old and abandoned refuge. Thanks to the clear skies, we were able to watch the Milky Way as it was rising around midnight, and I captured some nice pics I would like to share with you. It was the perfect opportunity to test my new Vixen Polarie Star Tracker and some new lenses like the Nikon 85mm f/1.8 and the Sigma 35mm Art f/1.4 that I bought recently. So, here is some images from our event, and I hope you like them !
  8. Thank you all ! Στάλθηκε από το LG-D605 μου χρησιμοποιώντας Tapatalk
  9. A view of the triple conjuction, taken from the city of Patras, Greece. Nikon D800 with 20mm, 24-70mm and 70-300mm lenses.
  10. Thank you all for your kind words ! Its nice to be here ! Στάλθηκε από το LG-D605 μου χρησιμοποιώντας Tapatalk
  11. Thank you very much !
  12. Hello ! My name is Christophe and I live in Greece. I'm a self-taught proffessional photographer. I remember myself as a kid watch the night sky and being curious about the stars and that strange "cloud" in the sky. Who could imagine that some years later I would be capable of photographing the Milky Way ? So, yes, I always liked astronomy and the stars, but what really pushed me forward to learn more things was photography. I experimented a lot with my equipment (Nikon DSLR cameras and wide angle lenses) but just recently I decided that I must take the next step and so I bought myself a Vixen Polarie Star Tracker. I haven't "played" with it yet due to winter and the not so clear skies of this time of year but I look forward to when the spring comes. I dont have a telescope yet as I want to experiment more with my current equipment, but I believe some time in the future I will buy, probably when I feel more ready. Along with Polarie, I also bought the amazing book "Make Every Photon Count", and I'm currently reading it and learning new things. You can see some of my (wide) astro photos here : https://www.flickr.com/photos/christophephoto/ I'm also posting my latest Milky Way shot, just a single exposure with Nikon D800 and Samyang 14mm lens @ f/2.8 & 20 sec exposure at ISO 3200. Thank you !
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