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Big Bend Night Photography Play'shop

Big Bend Night Photography Play'shop

  • Good Idea, I'm In

    Votes: 4 80.0%
  • Good Idea, I'm Out

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • Bad Idea, You're nutz

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Just get off your duff and pay to attend a professional workshop

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
4,642
Location
Saint Johns, FL
First Name
Duke
Last Name
Dixon
Good evening everyone. I was going to call this thread: "I am too cheap to pay $1500.00 for a workshop/seminar." Read on, you will see why.

M38A1 and I have been BS'ing and I want to get y'alls opinion on an idea I have.

Anyone want to learn how to shoot star trails like this? (*Image not mine, owner www.KenLeePhotography.com)
8665051917_cb22f4751f_b.jpg


Or shoot the Milky Way like this? (*Image not mine, owner @dfikar on Flikr https://www.flickr.com/photos/dfikar1/)
7216178878_2aebf97240_z.jpg


Or to play with flash lights and Gel'd strobes like this? (*Image not mine, owner www.Stebnerphotography.com)


Well ME TOO!

I am thinking of heading to Big Bend sometime around Easter 2015 +/- a few weeks either side for a long weekend. I want to go when there is NO MOON, so we can have the darkest night possible. And I am wanting to camp... planning on taking the truck down and I might (MIGHT) throw one of the bikes on a trailer.

Here is the reason for the thread. I would like to go down with other like minded folks who also want to try to learn to do this stuff. Figure we would mentor each other and maybe even do a live critique of each others attempts.

Is this a good idea to even attempt as a group?

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts too.
 
Last edited:

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,455
Location
North of Weird
First Name
Scott
I think this sounds like a grand idea to get the ball rolling.....

I've been wanting to try the star stuff and painting with light just to experience the process and maybe learn something along the way.

If the schedules work out right, count me in...
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
2,494
Location
Houston, TX
First Name
Kory
Last Name
Burleson
At this time, I really have no idea if this is possible for me, but it sounds awesome. I have a Goddaughter being born around that time, so it will all depend on that and of course talking to the wife. I am as interested as can be, just hope I can make it work.

Can't pick one of the options from the poll, there's no "Good Idea, I'm a possible."
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
5,173
Location
Terlingua Tx
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hegarty
Camping huh? I just might know a place or two where you could camp. When I shut everything off the nearest artificial light source to me is a solar lamp a mile away.

I could watch and learn, My night shots are all noise and no beauty right now.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
35
Location
Houston
Buddy of mine keeps going on and on about going to Terlengua and Alpine, so to shut him up we are planning a trip in March. LOL. Basically going to sell my RC51 and buy something that will be more appropriate for this trip. Just a little bit of dirt; but mostly roads. I have no clue what I am going to get!
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
4,642
Location
Saint Johns, FL
First Name
Duke
Last Name
Dixon
I think this sounds like a grand idea to get the ball rolling.....

I've been wanting to try the star stuff and painting with light just to experience the process and maybe learn something along the way.

If the schedules work out right, count me in...
Coolness. :thumb:

At this time, I really have no idea if this is possible for me, but it sounds awesome. I have a Goddaughter being born around that time, so it will all depend on that and of course talking to the wife. I am as interested as can be, just hope I can make it work.

Can't pick one of the options from the poll, there's no "Good Idea, I'm a possible."
Ignore the poll.. I was just being a smart alack any way. Would be great to get you to share your vision for composing shots.

Camping huh? I just might know a place or two where you could camp. When I shut everything off the nearest artificial light source to me is a solar lamp a mile away.

I could watch and learn, My night shots are all noise and no beauty right now.
Excellent Ed on the camping suggestions. As for the image noise that I something I am certain we can work on.

I could be down for this.
Can I bribe you to bring your dutch oven? :chug:

Buddy of mine keeps going on and on about going to Terlengua and Alpine, so to shut him up we are planning a trip in March. LOL. Basically going to sell my RC51 and buy something that will be more appropriate for this trip. Just a little bit of dirt; but mostly roads. I have no clue what I am going to get!
Just about anything is a good choice for riding down there, from dirt, dual sport, sport, cruiser to touring or any combination there of. Lots of options to think about.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
4,642
Location
Saint Johns, FL
First Name
Duke
Last Name
Dixon
Now for dates. I have no loyalty to any particular date, just want a dark night.

Here is the lunar calendar for the spring of 2015.








I am now thinking the weekend of April 18th. March I am going to try and get permission to shoot the last CMRA Event at TWS, hard to be in two places at once.

May is also a possibility, but in April the darkest night should be a Saturday. Which is, form a planning stand point is pretty advantageous.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
10,897
Location
Cleburne, TX
First Name
Nathan
Last Name
Seery
I would love to do this! I'd need new glass, right? :deal:

I'm not certain that I could get off, but I'll keep an eye on it and see how it goes.
Wife's been bugging me to go to BBNP, so maybe I can kill two birds with one stone.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
4,642
Location
Saint Johns, FL
First Name
Duke
Last Name
Dixon
I would love to do this! I'd need new glass, right? :deal:

I'm not certain that I could get off, but I'll keep an eye on it and see how it goes.
Wife's been bugging me to go to BBNP, so maybe I can kill two birds with one stone.
Hey Nathan... I don't think you will need new glass. From all that I have read star trails are typically shot at the following settings.

f/1.4 and ISO400 = 30s
f/2.8 and ISO1600 = 30s
f/4.0 and ISO3200 = 30s
f/5.6 and ISO6400 = 30s

As your f/stop gets smaller you will have to adjust your ISO higher so noise may become an issue. I don't remember what body your shooting with to know just how much an issue with noise you might have.

If you were using a camera like my D90. Well I would need a lens with a f/2.8 or faster because noise gets to bright after ISO 1600/2000 or so.

Here is a pretty good article that I think could serve as a lesson plan. http://petapixel.com/2013/03/18/how-to-photograph-star-trails-from-start-to-finish/
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
5,173
Location
Terlingua Tx
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hegarty
I spoke with Mike Darr of Terlingua Photographic Society and it turns out they have a night photography workshop in the planning stages for close to the same time frame. They are flexible about combining with this effort timing wise.

Mike can be reached at terlinguaphotographic@gmail.com

Their web site... http://www.terlinguaphotographic.org/

I thought that it might be cool to have the groups learning from each other here. Ya never know what might shake out.

It looks like getting those star trails right takes as much or more computer work as it does camera work.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
13,881
Location
Arlington, TX
First Name
Bill
I agree Ed, while I will certainly partake in the workshop, I will probably focus more on light painting and less on star trails. The crappy thing about light painting is that you might have everything just right or so you think, so you paint a wonderful 30 minute exposure only to have one setting off. Time to do it all over again....LOL
 

M38A1

Admin
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
19,455
Location
North of Weird
First Name
Scott
I agree Ed, while I will certainly partake in the workshop, I will probably focus more on light painting and less on star trails. The crappy thing about light painting is that you might have everything just right or so you think, so you paint a wonderful 30 minute exposure only to have one setting off. Time to do it all over again....LOL
....on the bright side, you'll have about 10hrs of dark so you get to try 20 times. :photo:
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
4,642
Location
Saint Johns, FL
First Name
Duke
Last Name
Dixon
I spoke with Mike Darr of Terlingua Photographic Society and it turns out they have a night photography workshop in the planning stages for close to the same time frame. They are flexible about combining with this effort timing wise.

Mike can be reached at terlinguaphotographic@gmail.com

Their web site... http://www.terlinguaphotographic.org/

I thought that it might be cool to have the groups learning from each other here. Ya never know what might shake out.

It looks like getting those star trails right takes as much or more computer work as it does camera work.
Keep us updated this sounds like a pretty cool cooperative effort.

I will say again though that I almost called the thread "I am too cheap to pay....", :chug:

Yes a computer is needed to STACK the images Photoshop is the program I plan to use, but there are alternatives out there that can stack images too.

Here is a free one that I found via Google, I don't know how good or bad it is, but it looks to be specifically designed for Star Trail photography.

http://www.markus-enzweiler.de/software/software.html
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Messages
4,642
Location
Saint Johns, FL
First Name
Duke
Last Name
Dixon
The more I look at my calendar the more and more I am going to plan this around April 17, 18 & 19th.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
578
Location
houston
I would be very interested. Here is a star trail photo I took in Terlingua a couple years back. I race CMRA, so it would have to be a non race weekend.


Startrails4086-4397MOD1.jpg
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
578
Location
houston
Thank you. It was shot on the hill behind the Chisos Mining Company Motel.

It was 350, 1 minute exposures compiled in Photoshop using lighten mode. I think I was using a 24-105mm lens on a 7D. Tripod and timer to take a 58 sec shot each minute.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
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Saint Johns, FL
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Duke
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Dixon
that is exactly what I am thinking about!!!!!

Awesome Stuff Jred.. Very well done.
 
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