Processing the Night Sky

by James Duncan Davidson

The other night, my father and I took a day trip out over the mountains and into central Oregon. Our aim was to find a nice dark spot far away from any bright lights so that we could enjoy the Perseid meteor shower. We ended up finding a good spot not far from where US197 and OR216 meet up. It turned out to be such a good spot that the Milky Way was in full view along with the Perseids.

As fate would have it, I had my camera with me, but I didn't have a tripod or my best glass. Nonetheless, I decided to try to capture the scene by setting my camera exposure manually and using a few rocks to lean the camera against. Because I was using a makeshift array of rocks on the ground, I couldn't really compose the shot before taking it, so I was continually chimping and making adjustments as I went. As I chimped, I could see that I was successfully capturing the Milky Way with an exposure of 30 seconds and an aperture of f/4 at ISO 1600. I knew that at 30 seconds, I'd see some smearing of the stars at 100%, but I given the makeshift arrangements, I was OK with that.

2 Comments

Dennis
2007-08-15 07:49:50
That is really impressive James. Lightroom does it again.
Mike Hedge
2007-10-13 21:43:43
very cool mini tutorial. thanks