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Thread: aurora pic 2/2/08

  1. #1

    Default aurora pic 2/2/08

    hey guys this was my first attempt at photographing the northern lights and they didn't turn out too bad but I wish the pics weren't as blurry.

    here were my settings F3.5, ISO 400 and a 20 second exposure...

    here is my quesiton...the trees in the pic are blurry is this from the wind? Should I have used a higher ISO speed? Any tips would be appreciated



    thanks,

    Richie

  2. #2
    Member Bushpilot's Avatar
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    Did you take the pictures while holding the camera, or was it on a tripod? I've found that setting it up on a tripod usually eliminates the problem you encountered.
    I refuse to tiptoe through life, only to arrive safely at death.


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  3. #3

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    na' it was on a tripod

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    Member tull777's Avatar
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    Cameras usually have a hard time auto focusing in the dark. Try focusing manually next time. Great attempt though.

    Here are some tips to try out ...

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...orthern+lights
    http://www.pbase.com/tull777

    http://www.eddiefisherphoto.com/


    "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Tripod and manual focus are a must! Here's a tip for focusing in low light and for the northern lights, focus on a star not the trees. The star should be a small point of light when you snap your photo. Few lenses have enough depth of field to perfectly focus both the for ground trees and the sky but getting a star down to a sharp point captures both with plenty of clarity.
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    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

  6. #6
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Something like this
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Bowyer to the forces of light in the land of the midnight sun.
    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

  7. #7

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    thanks Rick, I just always read the lower the Fstop the better so I just put my lense on F3.5 and took the picture...I'm new to this and any more pointers would be appreciated

    thanks,

    Richie

  8. #8
    Member EricL's Avatar
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    Great shot especially for the first time. I use MF and then set it on infinity. If the lights are nice and stay out for some time, I'll play around with all types of settings. I usually use f/2.8 or f/4 but if time allows I'll bump it up to f/8 or so. The problem with this is digital noise due to the longer exposures needed to catch the light while using a smaller aperture.
    EricL

  9. #9
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    F stop isn't really a function of focusing it is how wide open the aperture of the lens is, a wide open aperture is important but a higher f stop can be used if the shutter speed is decreased ie a 25 second exposure instead of a 20 second. Are you using a film or digital camera? The photo looks digital. Film tends too pick up more of the reds and blues in the Aurora in fact I have shots that have tons of red in them that my eye never picked up. I tried playing around with different stops exposure rates etc but believe it or not I get the best photos by putting Tracy's D60 on the "landscape" setting and letting the camera figure all that stuff out, having said that I always bracket my photos. I hope this isn't confusing I'm really just learning myself and am no expert! Tracy's whole family are professional photographers and man dose the learning curve jump when they are around, especially her uncle Gunther. Yes he is the one my son is named after, when he's here visiting we call him big bore and my son small bore since they both go by Gun for short.

    Hope this helps Richie.
    BHA Member
    Bowyer to the forces of light in the land of the midnight sun.
    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

  10. #10
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    Definitely out of focus -- see how round the stars are? It's always hard to focus at night, but using the stars to focus manually is the right way to do it. Still, with aurora pictures the idea is to capture the light, so a little blur isn't so bad a thing.

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    I use a manual 28mmF2.0 lens. I set the camera on manual focus, set the lens on infinity and tape the lens barrel so that I don't accidently change the focus. For my exposure, I divide 600 by the focal length (600/28=21 seconds). This tells me that to have sharp photos without star trails I need to keep the exposure to 21 seconds or less. Depending on the brightness of the Aurora, I will use iso 400, aperture of F/2.0 and shutter speed of 20 seconds. If I need more or less exposure, I vary the shutter speed or the iso. Most of my Aurora photos are taken at 10, 15 or 20 seconds, iso 400, Aperture of F/2.0. Use a tripod and a remote release.

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    Member tull777's Avatar
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    Default Remove the lens filter!

    One more thing ...Remove the lens filter!
    http://www.pbase.com/tull777

    http://www.eddiefisherphoto.com/


    "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default tull

    The wife and I just got done looking at your PB and must tell you that your pictures are breathtaking!!! Nancy is very envious and can't wait to learn the ways of photography with her new 40D.

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    A trick I use sometimes is center point focusing on the moon and then not touching the focus for my night exposure.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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