Tuesday (10-July-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Nighttime Sky Over New Jersey.

For the second night in a row the sky was clear so again I set up two cameras. This time using lessons learned from yesterday. One for firefly trails (Nikon D810a camera and 200 mm f/2 lens), and one for star trails looking north (Nikon D850 camera and 19 mm f/4 PC-E lens). This time the focus point for the firefly trails was moved back, and the orientation changed to portrait. I like this better than last night. For the star trails image I rotated the camera to north to get the circle around the north star. The star trail images really needs to be viewed on a large high-resolution monitor. I also made a time-lapse video (five hours compressed to 20 seconds) of the night sky. This is best viewed on a high-resolution monitor in a dark room. The Big Dipper pointing to the north star was one of the first things I learned about the night sky. One note post processing is with these high-resolution cameras it took me all day to do the processing, even with my fastest computer with a video processor (Microsoft Surface Book II Pro).

Firefly Trails. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 200 mm f/2 lens (ISO 1600, 200 mm, f/11, 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and the composite generated using Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Firefly Trails. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 200 mm f/2 lens (ISO 1600, 200 mm, f/11, 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and the composite generated using Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Startrail Looking North. Composite of images (22:20-03:19) taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 19 mm f/4 PC-E lens (ISO 200, 19 mm, f/4, 30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and the composite created using Photoshop CC (scripts, statistics, maximum). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Star Trarils Looking North. Composite of images (22:20-03:19) taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 19 mm f/4 PC-E lens (ISO 200, 19 mm, f/4, 30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and the composite created using Photoshop CC (scripts, statistics, maximum). (DAVID J MATHRE)


Individual images from the slide show can be viewed here.

Monday (09-July-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Nighttime Sky Over New Jersey.

The sky was clear so I set up two cameras. One for firefly trails (Nikon D810a and 200 mm f/2 lens), and one for star trails looking south (Nikon D850 and 19 mm f/4 PC-E lens). The focus point for the firefly image should have been further back. This is my first star trails image with the high-resolution Nikon D850 camera (8256 x 5505 pixel — 45 MP sensor). The image really needs to be viewed on a large high-resolution monitor. I focused the camera using live view using a magnified bright star. I need to figure out how to do the same thing with the firefly images. I also made a time-lapse video (five hours compressed to 20 seconds) of the night sky. This is best viewed on a high-resolution monitor in a dark room. The brightest object that shows up in the early morning is Mars.

Firefly Ttrails (21:50-03:59). Composite of images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 200 mm f/2 lens (ISO 400, 200 mm, f/5.6, 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and the composite generated with Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Firefly Ttrails (21:50-03:59). Composite of images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 200 mm f/2 lens (ISO 400, 200 mm, f/5.6, 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and the composite generated with Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Star Trails Looking South (23:00-03:59). Composite of image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 19 mm f/4 PC-E lens (ISO 200, 19 mm, f/4, 30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and the composite generated with Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Star Trails Looking South (23:00-03:59). Composite of image taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 19 mm f/4 PC-E lens (ISO 200, 19 mm, f/4, 30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and the composite generated with Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). (DAVID J MATHRE)


Individual images from the slide show can be viewed here.

Friday (15-June-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Nighttime Nature in New Jersey.

Firefly trails. I added long exposure noise reduction to the Fuji X-H1 camera for the 120 second exposures. It helps, but reduces the number of images that can be taken by half. Bottom line, the Nikon D810a camera does a better job for long exposures.

Firefly Trails. Composite of 541 images taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 200 mm f/2 lens (ISO 3200, 200 mm, f/8. 30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and PhotoShop CC (statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Firefly Trails. Composite of 541 images taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 200 mm f/2 lens (ISO 3200, 200 mm, f/8. 30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and PhotoShop CC (statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Firefly Trails. Composite of 157 images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 58 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 1600, 58 mm, f/8. 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and PhotoShop CC (statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Firefly Trails. Composite of 157 images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 58 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 1600, 58 mm, f/8. 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and PhotoShop CC (statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Firefly Trails. Composite of 72 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 56 mm f/1.2 lens (ISO 1600, 58 mm, f/8. 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and PhotoShop CC (statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Firefly Trails. Composite of 72 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 56 mm f/1.2 lens (ISO 1600, 58 mm, f/8. 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and PhotoShop CC (statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)

Thursday (14-June-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Nighttime Nature in New Jersey.

More firefly trails. I found that I can do exposures longer than 30 seconds on the Fuji X-H1 camera. However, at the cost of more sensor noise. The image required more post processing to remove the red and blue noise pixels.

Firefly Trails. Composite of 551 images taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 200 mm f/2 lens (ISO 1600, 200 mm, f/5.6, 30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Firefly Trails. Composite of 551 images taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 200 mm f/2 lens (ISO 1600, 200 mm, f/5.6, 30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Firefly Trails. Composite of 170 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 56 mm f/1.2 lens (ISO 1600, 200 mm, f/8, 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Firefly Trails. Composite of 170 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 56 mm f/1.2 lens (ISO 1600, 200 mm, f/8, 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Firefly Trails. Composite of 167 images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 58 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 800, 58 mm, f/8, 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)
Firefly Trails. Composite of 167 images taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 58 mm f/1.4 lens (ISO 800, 58 mm, f/8, 120 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro and Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). (David J Mathre)

Wednesday (30-May-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

I woke up at 03:00 (still trying to figure out what time zone I am in) and noticed the sky was pretty clear and the full moon was bright. I tried several cameras, and got the best image of the moon with the Nikon D810a camera and 600 mm f/4 VR lens. Later on during the day, more birds at the bird feeder.

Full Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 200, 600 mm, f/4, 1/200 sec). (David J Mathre)
Full Moon. Image taken with a Nikon D810a camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 200, 600 mm, f/4, 1/200 sec). (David J Mathre)