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Sagittarius, Scorpius and the Milkyway


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Hey Paul - I think this is a beautiful picture! I've been trying with my 1100D too, but I haven't got anything close to this yet. Can I ask you some questions? What settings do you use to take pictures like this? (I know you've posted the ISO/exposure already, but have you changed any other settings on the camera?). Also, would it be possible for you to post a single shot before you stacked them please? Thanks - I really hope I can start taking pictures like this soon!

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Hey Paul - I think this is a beautiful picture! I've been trying with my 1100D too, but I haven't got anything close to this yet. Can I ask you some questions? What settings do you use to take pictures like this? (I know you've posted the ISO/exposure already, but have you changed any other settings on the camera?). Also, would it be possible for you to post a single shot before you stacked them please? Thanks - I really hope I can start taking pictures like this soon!

Thanks, George! I was quite pleased with my end result considering I am new at this. Nowhere near the quality of some of the others that gets posted. As far as my setting go, in Manual mode, ISO 800 or 1600. At 800 I find you get less noise and less light pollution but if you have really dark skies go with 1600. I did 20 second exposure because at 25 and 30 you will start to see slight star trails forming when zoomed in, assuming you are just using the camera on a tripod and not tracking. I used the lens that comes with the kit which is an EF S 18-55 mm zoom lens, set at 18mm (zoomed all the way out). Two other things to check is to make sure the focal length is on the smallest number, I think like F/4 for the lens mentioned, so it gathers as much light as possible. Second, change the White Balance to Tungsten. I find that if I use auto or other setting it will give an ugly, reddish tint. Tungsten will make it look more natural.

You will notice that the camera will pick up ANY light pollution nearby, so I had to drive south of the city for this shot. Also, the closer to the horizon you are shooting, the more light from towns and cities will be picked up.

Try those setting and see how it works for you. Don't be afraid to experiment, you might find something better than I have and plus it's fun to see the different results. The best way to learn your way around the camera.

Here is the original photo with no stacking and no editing.

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Sagittarius and Scorpius Original by pbrad1974, on Flickr

I am interested in how it works out for you, George. Keep me posted with your results. Clear skies!

Edited by pbrad
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Hi Paul - thanks a lot for that! based on what you've done, I think the next step for me is to take more than one picture and also to bring in dark frames - they really seem to do the trick. Thanks for the original pic too - I think your site is a little darker than mine was last night! I've also had a look at the Exif data for your photo, and it's really helpful, so thanks again. Yeah, for my next session, I'm going to try messing with the settings a bit, and also try stacking with dark frames. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am getting a little better each time. This time I focused on Sagittarius and Scorpius. 20 images stacked, ISO 800, Exposure 20 seconds each. I can't seem to get the light pollution to fade out though. Comments and suggestions welcome. Thanks.

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Sagittarius and Scorpius by pbrad1974, on Flickr

Hi there, that is a nice picture!

If you stretch the histogram, the Milky Way pops up much more then that.

Not sure how to remove the Light Pollution, you might try to lower the orange cast using photoshop or something like that.

I am not an expert at all with astro imaging but I know some stuff, if you give me the permission I will play with your image this evening.

Clear Skies

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Thats a very good image, can't wait for the skies to clear up here so I can try some widefield shots.

Hope you dont mind but I tried some editing on your pic to help remove the colour cast. I reduced the reds in levels in photoshop then reselected Sagittarius and Scorpius with lasso tool and boosted their reds back to roughly how they were.

post-20889-0-04949400-1341697368_thumb.j

If you want any help with photoshop just send me a message :).

Sion

EDIT: Colour in Sagittarius and Scorpius hasn't come up to well in uploading for some reason :huh:

Edited by SionR25
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