Under the Milky Way
Under the Milky Way tonight… Well not tonight, as tonight hasn’t happened yet obviously. Unless you are reading this at midnight or thereabouts. And if you are indeed reading this after midnight I hope my ramblings are either keeping you entertained or perhaps even helping you fall sleep. I do what I can. But I digress.
There were some stunningly clear skies a couple of weeks ago so following my own advice I took a short drive down to Calverts Beach on South Arm for a night under the milky way. The full moon is back as I right this and I am already looking forward to another night shoot when dark skies return early next month.
Astro Photography with the Pentax Astrotracer
I shot all these with the Astrotracer function of the Pentax K1. For those who haven’t heard about this feature it utilizes the GPS and IBIS features built into the camera to counteract the earths rotation to allow pinpoint stars even with long exposures, such as you would achieve with a tracking enabled mount on a telescope for example. It does result in blurred terrestrial features however, as you are in effect shooting a long exposure of the earths rotation!
As the night got darker, I was able to increase the shutter speed out to 2 minutes while keeping the ISO relatively low meaning more or less noise free images of the night sky which is perhaps the biggest advantage of this technique.
I also took a second shot, this time with the astotracer disabled, so the horizon remained still and blended the two for these results which I am quite happy with, and I hope you are too – no matter what time of the day or night you happen to be reading this!