stars are singing

So I guess I’ll try to make up for those last couple of nasty posts with something beautiful. I got the opportunity to go out with Jim last night to go stargazing and star shooting. After fellowship we drove out to a dirt road somewhere between Davis and Winters. It was actually pretty fun and I was pretty amazed that even with 2 or 3 minute exposures you can start to see star trails.

This is a two minute exposure of the dirt road. It’s kind of washed out because there’s too much light on the horizon, but you can start to see some of the brightest stars in the sky.

At three minutes you can really start to see star trails.  Here is a shot with a three minute exposure shot straight vertically upwards.

Finally here’s a shot at 15 minutes, somewhat centered on the north star, so the stars rotate around that axis. Unfortunately the exposure came out kinda crappy because someone *cough*Jim*cough* accidentally fired off his flash. Oh well.

I’ve been thinking about selling my Pentax stuff for a while and buying into either Nikon or Canon. The main reason why I’ve stayed with Pentax is because I’ve already invested a bunch of money in lenses for most situations. But last night I ran into a limitation with Pentax bodies which is pretty annoying for night photography that is making me seriously consider starting over. Apparently there’s no way to turn off the long exposure noise reduction, so a 15 minute exposure actually takes 30 minutes after processing. Quite annoying. I don’t think Canon has that problem, and Nikon lets you just shut off the camera to write the data to the card ignoring the noise reduction. I found a way to get around the problem by using software to stack shorter exposures.  I might try that next time. Hopefully it works and I won’t have to start all over and spend thousands of bucks on Canon/Nikon gear..

So anyways after I found that out, I switched out lenses and decided to take pictures of the moon instead. Here’s the last one I took before heading back home.

3 thoughts on “stars are singing”

  1. my monitor is dirty and has dust spots on it. so i thought there were more stars in your pictures than there really were. super cool moon picture!

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