Shooting Night Skys

With the recent meteor showers those of you that could stay up late (or get up early) not only had to deal with possible clouds but with all the light pollution we live with.  Thursday night I thought I would set up just in case I could try and catch a meteor or two after the moon went down.  I set up my camera on a tripod with a manual focus 8mm lens and tried some default setting that I had rattling around in my head.

ISO 1600 at F2.8 with a shutter speed of 30 seconds. My first exposures captured way too much of the leaking light pollution in the sky.  It was around 10:30 with the moon still in the sky.  I reset for a more reasonably ISO of 800 and a shutter speed of 15 seconds.  Looking at the back of the camera I was not seeing anything worth getting up at zero dark thirty for. Way to much light or so I though. So I just put it all away and gave up for the night.

When I finally got around to processing the image I was more than surprised to see how many stars I actually did capture. It did take a little fiddling in Lightroom to get the image to so itself but I was happy with the result.

It just goes to show that you need to practice, practice, practice. If I’d done this more than once or twice I would have known that it is possible to get the image and I should have stayed on it rather than giving up. Click on the image to see full sized.


Eastern Skys

Updates To Creative Cloud for Photographers

There have been updates to the Adobe Creative Cloud for Photographers.  Photoshop and Lightroom both have updates as well as Camera Raw for CC and Bridge. Camera Raw and Lightroom have additional new camera profiles. Bug fixes are also included and it looks like Photoshop now does not change to a white background on whim. At least I’m hopping that is true. Lightroom still does not have hardware acceleration on my 2011 27inch iMac.



Lightroom For HDR

Viewing Scott Kelby’s latest class on processing landscape images over at KelbyOne. Scott was discussing using the HDR processing feature that is fairly new to Lightroom. Scott suggested that you only need the over and underexposed images for Lightroom to process the image to an HDR.

After dinner tonight I thought I’d give it a try. The light was pretty disappointing and the subject matter was pretty plain but I did give me a chance to try out using just the over and under exposed images.

I set up the X-T1 with XF 10-24 wide angle lens on a tripod and made exposures at 2 stops over exposed and 2 stops under exposed and imported them into Lightroom.  There is not a lot of options to the the Lightroom HDR dialog.  For this exercise I used the Auto Tone option only.

The resultant image was rather interesting as the toning added 1.25 stops of exposure to the image which means that the 2 stops over and under where probably more than need.


This was the final image. I did drop the exposure down to about +0.4 and set the white balance to warm up the image somewhat.  Then I used my standard Tonal and Pro Contrasts from Nik’s Color Effects Pro 4 by Google to punch up the image. The image does have a pretty good tonal range with the HDR.

20160802-_DSF4060The stop overexposed image.

20160802-_DSF4061And the 2 stop underexposed image.

I think I would like to try working with maybe a one stop underexposed and 1 2/3rds stop overexposed images. But it is a starting point.