Night Photography for Spring 2017 – Let’s Try One More Time!
Spring time is finicky when it comes to shooting the night skies. There is more moisture in the air and cooler nights leads to haze and/or cloud formations which prohibit clear shots of the Milky Way. As many of you know, we tried providing a night photography workshop last year and had some bad luck with weather on both the primary and make-up dates. Our first attempt this year on March 25 was cancelled due to cloud cover.
Open to paid members of the Lehigh Valley Photography Club
Limited Availability – sign-up for this event will be limited to ten (10) club members!
Date: Night of April 21 in early morning of April 22. In case of cloudy skies, an An alternate date of April 22 into the early hours of April 23 is planned.
Time: 10 pm. – 2:30 am. We will start with star trails and go into Milky Way after that since the galactic core does not appear until 12:30 am.
Location: Walter Dam Road @ the Francis Walter Dam, White Haven PA. We will meet on the main road, but there are multiple spots within 2-3 minutes drive that would work better.
How to sign up: The event is open to all dues paid members of the Lehigh Valley Photography Club. Please send your request to info.LVPC@gmail.com
Cost: Free. $5 to be paid to Tejus at the event
Club member Tejus Shah has a lot of experience shooting the night sky locally and has offered to lead a future workshop and to allow a small group of participants to join in on a ‘test run’ test run at Frances Walker Dam in White Haven, PA (about an hour north of Allentown). Fellow club member and Activities Chair, Buddy Eleazer plans to be there also to help fellow members get the shots.
Note: Due to the current position of the Milky Way relative to the earth, the Milky Way will not be visible until just past mid-night on April 21, which means the active Milky Way shooting is technically on April 22. We are not trying to talk you out of volunteering for this. We want you to attend. We just want you to sign-up with an awareness of the late, late start. Prior to mid-night on April 21 evening, we will shoot star trails and also review the set up basics you will be needing to capture the Milky Way.
Night photography / astrophotography truly requires dedication to shoot. It can be difficult to find people to shoot with. For those of you that know what you are doing, this meet-up/workshop is about finding people to shoot the stars with, maybe see how others do things, and possibly even learn a new technique. For those that have little to no experience with astrophotography, our goal is to get your feet wet into the subject
During the meet-up we will try to touch on the following:
- Key points of planning for your adventure under the stars. I will provide you with the tools I use for planning my night sky shoots and the knowledge base to plan for future trips and shoots.
- In depth knowledge of “The BIG 3”, ISO, Aperture and Exposure time and how they pertain to the broad array of night shots you may want to capture.
- Composition: How to “see” and visualize a great composition. This is one of my favorite topics. There are so many tips & tricks that can help you achieve great composition. I will teach you everything I know about composition.
- The 500/600 Rule: Selecting the optimal exposure time for different star photography scenarios.
- How to capture great shots of the Milky Way.
- How to photograph star trails while decreasing noise or light pollution.
- The ability to capture a sharp foreground as well as the Milky Way or stars in the background.
- Using multiple exposures, settings, and advanced tools to improve the level of your star photography.
- Weather permitting, you will leave this workshop with an in depth understanding of all aspects of night sky, Milky Way and star photography along with some great photos.
Additional Information: What to Bring
- A dSLR camera or mirrorless camera, any will do, but keep in mind star photography is one of the few fields where a better camera really does help to produce better results. A full frame sensor will really help you to capture the best of the stars, but is not required.
- A wide angle lens gives best results. Any lens will work depending on your camera, however wide angle allows you to capture more sky and have longer exposures. You will also need an aperture of at least f/4 minimum speed.
- A tripod. Any will work but the bigger/stronger the better.
- A big memory card. Two 16-32 GB cards are preferable.
- Batteries, batteries, batteries, I carry at least 2. Long exposures drain the battery quickly. Also consider bringing your charger as we may be able to ‘top off’ your batteries during breaks.
- Camera Cable release or remote timer—Even a cheap knock off works, check reviews online before buying these brands to avoid disappointment in the field. We will be doing exposures as short as 15 seconds and as long as 3 hours.
- Dress warm. While we have planned this for early spring, there will be long periods of inactivity during exposures and it’s easy to get cold standing around outside.
- It’s early spring so mosquitoes shouldn’t be out, but if you think they are by then then insect repellant.
- A head lamp, it does not have to be anything expensive, but preferably one that has a RED light option. HomeDepot carries an ‘Energizer’ model for approximately $20 that works well (see link)
- Tasty treats, snacks, food or anything you may like to eat or drink outside of the following: Water and soft drinks will be provided and, if we can come up with a grill, we will also cook some burgers and hot dogs.
- Blanket (for low angle shots or relaxing in the grass during tutorials)
- Lawn chair