A BIG thank you for the following article from Paul Williams! We appreciate all your hard work for the club Paul! THANK YOU!
On 14 August 2015 the Blackjack Camera Club met about 25 km on the Mullaley Road at 8:30 pm to photograph stars. The Milky Way was directly overhead.
For night photography of stars, photographers needed a tripod and cable release as the slightest vibration will not yield a good image. If members did not have a cable release then they would need to use the timer on their camera to release the shutter. Also a flashlight is handy to help navigate the night conditions.
First photographers set up their tripods where they could get a good image of the Milky Way. Next, cameras were switched to manual and the settings used to start photographing were f/16 for a large depth of field, everything should be in focus in the distance; ISO 400, the focal length was set for as wide as possible, and the focus was set for infinity and switched from auto focus to manual, the exposure was set at 30 seconds. If the members’ lenses did not have the infinity setting then they either needed to set the focus during daylight for as far as possible and then switch the lens from automatic setting to manual as not to change the settings of light up something in the distance and set their focus then switch their cameras from auto focus to manual.
The first settings yielded poor results. This was done for photographers to see the differences the adjusted settings produced. The f-stop was changed to f/3.5. The ISO was increased to ISO 800. This yielded a better image. The ISO was increased until photographers were satisfied with the images. The settings for the image below were f/3.5, exposure 30 seconds, ISO 3200, and focal length 16mm.
Next, photographers were instructed to adjust the White Balance. The White Balance was changed to K (Kelvin) and set at 3300. This gave the stars more of blue colour. The White Balance was adjusted until photographers were satisfied with their images. The settings for the image below were f/16, exposure 30 seconds, ISO 3200, focal length 16mm, and White Balance K 3300.
Next, the club moved to another setting to photograph star trails. Again tripods were position to get a good image of the Milky Way. This time cameras need to be pointed in a southern direction to capture the movement of the stars. For photographing star trails a cable release is definitely needed as the cameras must be set to bulb. In bulb, the shutter remains open as long as the photographer wants it to. The shutter will remain open to start for five minutes, recording the movement to the stars. The settings for the image below were f/3.5, exposure 611 seconds (about five minutes), ISO 400, focal length 16mm, and White Balance K 3300.
A good time was had by all.