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Addicted to Astro

Photography never ceases to expand my passion for the outdoors.

After dabbling with the challenge of astro pictures last month, i was instantly hooked after viewing the magic of what the camera picks up and what the naked eye cannot see.

Uploading the images and seeing the details of all the light is fascinating.

An example of this is when i uploaded a picture i had taken at Kildonan beach where i was hoping for a clearing in the cloud to get the Milky Way above Pladda.

This shot never happened but instead the camera picked up light coming off blue plankton in the sea which i couldn't see at the time.

Here is that picture..

Blue plankton, Kildonan

Being utterly fascinated with what the camera can pick up i spent time looking up best settings, lenses, best times to shoot and watched numerous tips and tricks on youtube.

A great couple of phone apps are a massive help to me.

To find the location of the Milky way and how bright it is at different times/dates from your location, i use Star Walk 2(free app)

The another very handy App i use is The Photographer's Ephemeris( £8.99) which tells you the exact time of sunset, sunrise and the most important one I've found for Astro - Moonset.

Unless you are looking to highlight the landscape with moon light in your shots, heading out on a clear night when the moon has already set is a guaranteed way of getting the ultimate dark skies to view all the details you can.

I used my wide angle lens ( Canon EF 17-40mm F4) for the above shot which seemed ok at the time but after reading about the advantage of a lens with a low light capacity i opted to sell a lens and buy the Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art.

The lower F stop number allows more light to enter the lens with less noise which in turn makes for a sharper and brighter Astro photograph.

Really looking forward to experimenting with this lens and getting into the mountains at night.



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