Stargazing At Cape Naturaliste

March 21, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse at 2.30am - that's when the magic happens :)
^ 16 images, shot "through the fence" at ISO 3200, 16mm, f/4 amd 30seconds
 

 
 
ISO 6400, f/4, 30 seconds, 16mm
Another one from the "through the fence" series :)
 
 
ISO 6400, f/4, 16mm, 30 seconds
 
I arrived at the lighthouse at around 12-12:30am and -luckily- had clear skies above me... with a few "selfie"-ideas in mind and nowhere to be before 7am(work that is!) I had plenty of time to experiment and play around with different settings and compositions...
 
 
ISO 3200, f/2.8, 30 sec, 70mm
 
 For this shot, I took out my telephoto lens to get more compression and to take advantage of it's large aperture of f/2.8 and happily snapped away until I got a composition I was happy with...
 
 
Since my camera already sported the telephoto lens, I shifted my focus back to the sky and tried to capture the Orion Nebula. I'm completely new to deep sky astro photography but always happy to experiment and try new techniques. The above shot was taken at ISO 12800, f/2.8, 200mm and 10 seconds. By the time I took these images the wind had picked up a little and I had to use my body to shield my camera from the elements to avoid any camera-shake. Even though the exposure was relatively short, I still got movement in the stars... or perhaps it's camera-shake after all... we will never know I guess :p

The reason I choose such a high ISO is because I never really had a chance to use ISO values to that extend. I simply wanted to see what results I get with such extreme values and I have to say I am quite impressed. Sure it's not a clean image but it sure as hell looks a hundred times better than my old 400D body at ISO400! It's a great improvement in technology, enabling us to take our photography to the next level!
 
The following two images were shot with the same settings...
 
 
 
A shooting star, the Southern Cross (can you see it?) and the Orion Nebula
 
I couldn't leave without taking a shot of this awesome colonial house under the stars... :) Single image with no blending.
 
My last selfie-idea... I had to drive to Sugarloaf Rock to get a good vantage point for this shot... this must have been around 5 or 5:30 am and the sky became brighter from the approaching morning sun... I only managed to get a few exposures before it became too bright... anyway, it was time I packed my gear up and went to work :)

It was a fantastic night. I was out there for a good 6 hours, all by myself with my music cranking out of my bag, dozens of shooting stars, the lighthouse as a great subject to photograph, the milky way above and I even got to see my first scorpion in the wild!

Gotta do more astro! For sure :)

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