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John Baker

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John Baker last won the day on August 3 2016

John Baker had the most liked content!

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About John Baker

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    Star Forming

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    All aspects of photography, specializing in subjects which have an element of action, from insects in flight to the ISS passing over.
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  1. That is a lovely shot, the simple de-fishing has straighten the trees and the reflections nicely
  2. I seriously get that one style does not fit all, it really depends on available light or lack of. I am currently doing a lot more blending of exposures and combining tracking and longer foreground shots - the fun is having the flexibility to try a variety of techniques - wide field is very personal, I know some who really pull detail and alter colours and do very well Commercially - the bottom line is, are you happy with the result and did you get what you planned - if so job done
  3. Finding other lost soles in the middle of nowhere comes with the territory - I have met some very interesting people that way!!! I will share an example of why I light, this is an iconic landscape shot on Dartmoor, the location is called Windy Post. Its about 20 mins from the road and involves heading off into the moor, so even finding the place is a total nightmare in the dark. There is only one real angle to get the small waterfall (ok, that is over egging it, poor thing is about 12" high, but it needs to be in) the way marker cross is a distance beyond and in the distance you have the light pollution of Plymouth Without light I would simply have lost all the foreground interest and the cross would have been a silhouette. EXIF of the shots (it's a wide panorama, so 3 x images high) basic setting Canon 1Dx, Tamron 15-30 f2.8 at f5.6, ISO 5,000 and 30" seconds. The light for this was a small Lidl hand held torch which came with a large diffuser cone and was waved around for a couple of seconds, this was enough to add detail to the shadows. It was also the night of the Perseids and so I was lucky to get one of those in a shot, the panorama allowed me to get the width of the scene but extend the height to add Milky Way. The Poundland lights are great, I keep a couple in my bag, I think they are sold as soft night lights for children, but they give just enough to scatter in a view to give detail. So in this example there are 4 or 5 across the image... A final example, this was the same Lidl torch, but due to the castle being the other side of the lake it needed full power to get detail into the bricks - without the light it would not be as storng, this is Carew Castle in Pembrokeshire I look forward to seeing more of your work... Happy to share more examples if needed
  4. I tend to do my blending in PhotoShop, so good luck & I look forward to seeing the images
  5. Some real crackers in there... I particularly like the meteor & reflection. I also love the bridge shot, a great combination of elements - all I would suggest is try some adding some light to the bridge - I use a small flash on very low power, the other option are some cheap Poundland LEDs of course you could do a blended image, so a longer exposure on the bridge combined with the sky. Pleased to be an inspiration
  6. It’s a really a folly, it’s not the easiest to get as you are too close and need to tilt the camera - this is the standard view... Shame the newly weds left the light in :( This was the straight crop top, I think I was zoomed into 30mm, exposure down to 15seconds
  7. This was the other I rather liked, this takes in Orion with a similar crop
  8. My first time in a competition on here, so not totally sure what I am doing I managed a grand session on the 27 December and took close to 80 shots of the comet mainly from the Haldon Belvedere also known as St Lawrence Castle before the moon rose above the horizon. St Lawrence Castle was built in 1788 and is quite prominent on the skyline of the Haldon HIlls above Exeter and is a great location for astrophotography. My aim with this shot was to try to get a decent view of the comet, the Milky Way, Andromeda and the Pleiades plus the part of the castle in a single image. The light on the castle is mainly from the light pollution of Exeter. This was my favourite image, a single frame taken on a Canon 1Dx using a Tamron 15-30mm Zoom at 15mm, f2.8, 30 Seconds and ISO 2, 500
  9. Agree, but there are some places that just work for this sort of thing.. I really must try to get back down to Bodmin Moor to re-do the Cheesewring, mines & Minions - too much to do, not enough clear skies Ok for the panormas I try to shoot at around the 21 or 24mm focal length, much wider and the distortions gets more complex to deal with. Ideally you need to use a 50mm or telephoto, but then you are into the realms of multi rows which is time consuming. The real trick is to give a very good overlap of images, this then gives you more of a chance of dealing with the wide angle effects - this is not my shot, but this is how you would do 2 rows and shows the level of overlap needed. Re exposure, I normally use the 500 rule (500/focal length) to get the max shutter speed I can use, then go down a stop to be safe, aperture tends to stay wide open - e.g. f2.8 then adjust the ISO to get a decent exposure. If there is a bit of light around I will normally tweak the shutter speed as that is the killer for the movement in the stars. I try to keep the exposures the same. However, I have also done several vertical panos, for those I may do a longer exposure to get detail in the foreground if needed. I am also starting to do multiple-tracked sky shots and combining with a static foreground to get more detail in the sky
  10. It's a great stack, its not quite so impressive from other angles, here are a couple of the alternatives This was the one I went with, it was 8 x panorama I have been several times, here are some other versions Looking up his nose This is the postcard version, but did not really work with the MW One from further back
  11. Hi Ady, ok so the panorama was simply the camera in portrait mode mounted on a panoramic head, I then rotated the camera to get the wider shot - I have just checked and it is actually 11 shots, merged, I think I was shooting at 20mm to give lots of overlap - re exposure, the trick is the main security lights on the island go off at 01:00, unfortunately there are still a few around which can cause problems. This was another shot, this was a 3 x shots of the ISS going through, each shot at 30", then blended to get the longer streak, you can see my wobbly footprints through the sands and my colleague shooting a different angle. You can clearly see the impact of the lights on the shot, The other sort of thing I am now doing is a lot more stacking, so this is 5 x tracked shots to get more detail in the milky way, then combined with a single shot with the tracker off to get the foreground The only real downside, was I had one of my shots picked up by the Daily Telegraph and used as a picture of the day. My friend shared his with the hotel & was given a free night, I am not sure who got the best one there - it did cost him as it was good he & his wife stayed for an extra night & that cost them a fortune
  12. Ok so this is the 11th year I have done this, my aim is to try to get a semi-decent astro image each month. While some months its really simple, with far too many shots which would work, while others moths are a bit more complex as the weather contrives to thwart all views. Anyway, this is the trawl for 2018 · January – Super Moon over Hay Tor. I had been after one of these for a couple of years, the trick is to try to balance the moonlight with the natural light on the landscape. · February – A selfie taken on the Lizard looking out at the Milky Way on the horizon · March – An 8mm shot, hence the round image. This was an opportunistic shoot after a day in Bristol. A very bright moon gave too much light, but it was great to add detail to the Ashton Windmill, at Chapel Allerton on the Somerset levels. · April – a shot at Orcombe Point, Exmouth. The Geoneedle marks the start/end of the Jurassic Coast. The Core of the Milky Way was on the horizon to the South, the Lyrid Meteors were putting on a grand display - a composite of several exposures taken at the spot. · May – One of my favourite locations, Burgh Island at Bigbury-on-Sea, this is a panorama made up from 5 x shots to give the spread across the island. · June – another favourite location Booby’s Bay at Trevose Head, North Cornwall. This was taken just after sunset and showed a couple of satellite glints flashing in the sky. Another · vertical panorama of 3 x shots. · July – I had a wonderful time in Pembrokeshire with Paul McLoughlin. We had stunning weather, every night was clear and we were totally spoilt. This was one of the best of the week, Church Rock at Broadhaven. · August – This was an opportunistic shoot, we were trying for the sea cave at Redrock, Dawlish, but the tide was coming in, so we tried getting the Penzance – London main line in an astro shot. Again, a panorama to get the sea view towards Berry Head, in the distance. · September – This was a shot I have been wanting to do for many years the old cross at Windy Post, Dartmoor. This was taken after a grand evening at the Firework Championship at Plymouth. The weather kept changing, the site is 15/20 mins into the moor from the road and standing in the rain was truly miserable. Thankfully the clouds cleared and I was able to get the icon shot of the small waterfall, cross and the milky way, the passing Perseid Meteor was a real bonus. · October – A trip back up to Hayne Down to get the iconic Bowerman’s Nose. The trick is to try to get the orientation with the rock stack and the milky way – thankfully this still shows the classic shape of the stack – this again was a panorama made from 6 shots, stitched together. · November – Our annual trip to Cyprus, this time we went for 2 weeks. I was able to get out a couple of times, this is the classic Petra tou Romiou or Aphrodites Rock. While there was a bright moon, it was glorious to see this location with Orion in the sky · December – This was a shoot at St Lawrence Castle, also known as the Haldon Belvedere. I was keen to get Comet P46/Wirtanen with a more iconic backdrop. Unfortunately, the comet is now quite high in the sky. This is a 15mm shot showing the tower, comet, milky way and a nice view of the Pleiades and Andromeda. I will add a couple of the extras, as there are far too many to include in a simple set of 12 - happy for questions, comments, suggestions... Happy New Year to all on here and wishing all clear skies for 2019
  13. It was great to get out last night and take advantage of the glorious autumn sky, a bit of the Core was still visible on the horizon. Bowerman’s is always a great location, but a real “ankle breaker” in the dark. I will post the best first - Trying to get an angle on the rock stack and include the Milky Way can be a challenge, this is a combination of 8 images, formed into a singe panorama from the back of the stack EXIF - 1Dx & Tamron 15-30 f2.8 - ISO 5,000, 30" at f2.8 at 15mm This is a single shot, possibly better alignment with the rock stack, but you lose the "old man in a cap" that is the traditional view of the Bowerman's A different angle again, this is a 3 x portrait panorama stacked to bring in more of the sky - there was a bit of cloud for the one...
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