Night sky view from the back of the house. Light from the moon lit up the chimney and the newly installed solar panels on the roof. Also some light clouds moved in during the shoot. The north star isn’t exactly due north. Composite of 130 images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 14 mm, f/8, 300 sec).
View looking south from my backyard. Composite of 120 images taken from 20:00 to 23:59 with a Nikon D4 camera and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/5.6, 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro. Star trails composite processed using Photoshop CC (scripts, statistics, maximum).
Star and jet trails looking south from my backyard. Composite of 40 images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 800, 24 mm, f/4, 120 sec) and processed using Capture One Pro and Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum).
Winter startrails looking south from my backyard. Composite of ten images taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 17-35 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 200, 17 mm, f/4, 600 sec). A Nikon MC-36 intervalometer was used to trigger the camera for the 10 minute exposures (with a 3 seconds delay between exposures to allow the data to be written to the CF memory card.
Star Trails Looking North. The old deck had not been demolished yet, and I was able to set up a Nikon D3 camera and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens looking north over the house. The first image is a composite of 158 images from the early morning hours. The second image is a composite of 190 images before midnight. Not the pesky alien stepping in to have its selfie taken.
Learning from mistakes. It took a while to figure out how to make star trail images with a digital camera. My first attempts to do long exposures ran into problems with digital sensor noise, the length of time the shutter could remain open, and camera battery life — especially on cold nights. The camera had an option for “long exposure noise reduction”, however this required taking a second exposure with the shutter closed and then subtracting the sensor closed image from the sensor open image. The result is missing every other exposure needed for a smooth composite star trail image.
Other than the Big Dipper, Orion was probably the second constellation I learned to recognize.
One of the issues I have had with the Nikon 1 “mirrorless” cameras is the lack of wide-angle lens options. The widest angle available with the initial set of lenses was 10 mm f/2.8 prime. This has a 77° field of view (FOV) equivalent to a 27 mm lens on a full-frame (FX) DSLR camera. I like taking wide angle panorama landscape images when traveling. In order to do this with the Nikon 1 camera requires taking several images and then stitching them together during post-processing. Before going to Norway, I saw a note on the internet that the Olympus FCON-T01 Fisheye converter uses the same 40.5 mm thread that the Nikon 1 10 mm f/2.8 lens uses. The 0.74x adapter increases the FOV to something like 20 mm on a FX DSLR camera. I took this combo with me to Norway, and published an image of Greenland from 36,000 feet on Google+.
Since returning from Norway, Nikon released a new wide-angle telephoto lens for Nikon 1 cameras – the 6.7 – 13 mm f/3.5-5.6. At 6.7 mm this lens has a 100° FOV equivalent to a 18 mm lens on a FX DSLR camera. The following three images were taken with the Nikon 1 V2 camera 1) with the 10 mm f/2.8 lens; 2) with the 10 mm f/2.8 lens and the Olympus fisheye converter; and 3) with the 6.7-13 mm lens at 6.7 mm. The wide angle image with the 6.7 mm does not have the fisheye curvature effect. Indeed, when in Norway I found that when I used the Olympus lens I would need to keep the horizon right at the middle of the image. I think that I will be adding the 6.7-13 mm lens to my light-weight travel kit.
Note: Nikon changed the threading on the 6.7-13 mm lens to 52 mm, so I can’t use the Olympus adapter with this lens 😉
I got up really early before dawn to see the night sky in the southern hemisphere. I’ve wanted to see the Southern Milky Way and the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. This was the first time that I saw the Orion constellation up side down. I don’t recognize many of the other stars and southern constellations. Images from my Patagonia photography workshop with Thom Hogan while staying at Hosteria El Pilar in El Chalten in Argentina.