Olympus UK E-System User Group
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Join our unique resource for Olympus Four Thirds E-System DSLR and Pen and OM-D Micro Four Thirds photographers. Show your images via our free e-group photo gallery. Please read the e-group.uk.net forum terms and conditions before posting for the first time. Above all, welcome!


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Old 20th August 2014
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The Milky Way and a shooting star

There was a forecast of a reasonable chance for an aurora last night, so I headed out at midnight to my favourite dark place. It was a beautifully clear night and the stars were stunningly bright. The aurora turned out to be a pretty feeble affair (no photos worth showing) so I turned my attention to trying to get some decent Milky Way photos. The last time I tried this in earnest was with the old E510 several years ago, with disappointing results.
These were taken with the EM1 coupled with the samyang 7.5 FE, all at ISO 3200, f3.5. #1 and #3 were exposed for 30s, #2 was a 40 second exposure. All processed from raw in LR5.
I saw several bright meteorites in the 2½ hours I was out, and even managed to capture one in the first photo:

#1


#2


#3


The moon rose just after 2 o'clock and even though just a fingernail, it was bright enough to drown out the weak aurora and kill off any further attempts at photographing the Milky Way, so I headed off home to bed at 2.30.
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Old 20th August 2014
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

Very nice David, your lucky to be so close to dark skies. I was out last night imaging the Dumbell Nebula but not with an Olympus.
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Old 20th August 2014
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

Stunning. I have to wait until I'm on holiday to find a sky dark enough to film.
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Old 20th August 2014
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

Very nice
Just waiting for the dark skies to return up here
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Old 20th August 2014
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

Great astro shots David. I love these sort of shots showing the whole sky. Nr 1 is my favourite for sure.
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Old 20th August 2014
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

Wow! What a great way to spend the evening.
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

Really excellent shots. One day I'll get round to trying that, you've definitely inspired me to have a go.
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

Thanks for your kind comments everyone. In an uncharacteristically enlightened (!) move our regional council has been steadily replacing the orange sodium street lights in local towns and villages with low light polluting LED ones. This is partly to save money (apparently the huge cost involved is repayed in electricity savings within 3 years) and partly because of our proximity to the Galloway Dark Skies Park, which is drawing significant numbers of visitors to the area.
It's making a big difference to stargazing and night time photography - I now only have to travel a few hundred yards outside our village to escape light pollution.
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Old 20th August 2014
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

A nice trio. The only light pollution around here recently is lightening.
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

Great stuff David and something I have wanting to do since getting me E-M1.

I will so though I am sure.
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

David, Beautiful images all I want some

I am particularly interested in your settings and lens - I went out the night before last with the 8 Fisheye Sam and the ONE ; but nothing captured, was worth saving. Nick says I have to "Wait" until we have moved to Patrick Moores old town where there is little light pollution from Man !

Huge Thank YOU for sharing !
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

Three lovely shots and like ChevvyF1 I too would be interested in the settings.

Last time I experienced skies like that was in Saudi. During night shift a few of us wwould go outside and lie back, stargaze for a while, watch the satellites go over and enjoy the quiet as camera's were banned. I learned this the hard way when my camera got conficated after returning from a desert trip taking photo's of Lawrence's train wreck.
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

Thanks David, Alf, Chevvy and Wally.

Camera settings:
ISO 3200
f3.5 (ie fully open)
Exposure manual - 30 secs for #1 and #3, 40 secs for #2
manual focus
IS off
White balance: Auto (but adjusted to 4340 in LR for #1 and 2, 5100 for #3)
Shutter delay 2 secs
Noise reduction on
Noise filter standard

I've got a preset I use for the EM1 in LR, but on top of that I adjusted the WB as above, increased contrast, decreased the clarity slider a little and used a lot of noise reduction (47 in #1, 38 in #2 and 64 in #3). Also ticked the chromatic aberration box and increased the sliders for purple and green fringing. #1 and 2 were defished using a profile recommended in another thread for the samyang.
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

David my settings were way out ... on Mars !
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Old 21st August 2014
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Re: The Milky Way and a shooting star

Beautiful photos. I'm always amazed at how full of stars the sky is when photographed. With the naked eye and living so close to Watford (and London) I'm lucky if I see even the most obvious constellations
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