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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Astronomy & Celestial Talk 
Thread started 10 Mar 2014 (Monday) 10:02
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How do you find someone to go wih you...

 
virginie24jb
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Mar 10, 2014 10:02 |  #1

Hi,


I'd be interested in doing more night sky and milky way pictures in the future (just bought the samyang 14mm for that purpose). But I don't feel like going in the middle of nowhere (dark sky) on my own in the middle of the night. It's generally not very safe, especially for young women like me.

My brother comes with me when I go out for a shoot if it's in the afternoon or early evening for sunset but it's clear he's not willing to go with me to shoot some night sky pictures.

Do you go on your own or are you lucky to have someone who is patient and interested enough in night sky photography to go with you?


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Mr_Bester
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Mar 10, 2014 10:13 |  #2

I'm a 40 year old guy, so I don't have the same concerns as you, but I much prefer to have someone else there to talk to. That way, if there are any stalking creatures, at least we'll give off a human vibe rather than a food vibe.

you could try to find a night photo club near you and get to know them before heading out with someone.


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MalVeauX
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Mar 10, 2014 13:28 |  #3

Heya,

Understandable in your situation.

I go out by myself, all night. I will sleep in during the day, and go from midnight to 7am sometimes when I'm out having fun. I make it a day, so to speak. I work nights, so being up all night is normal for me most of the time. I go off in rural areas. I'm more worried about the wildlife than I am of people. But then again, in my country, you can carry a big gun if you are worried about anything at all. I know that's different in the UK. I'm sure in France you won't be able to take your camera and a shotgun out into a field at night without one form of trouble or another, hah.

To get people interested in staying up all night with you, you have to turn it into more than just a photography shoot. I find camping does the trick. As you expect to be there late and stay the night, so while they sleep, you shoot. Go far enough out where you can have a fire. I've done shoots near a fire, and it was not a problem, didn't mess with my shots because it didn't emit enough light to reflect on anything (clouds) to ruin shots. Otherwise, find another soul who is into astrophotography. I'm sure you have camera/photography forums that cater to people in France, as a means to hook up with someone with similar interests.

I prefer to be alone mostly, due to my rigorous planning, but I'd still take company if someone asked me. There's usually precious little time to be distracted when working within a window for a specific shoot. One thing I've learned doing astro, is that you have to look in advance for what you're going to shoot, monitor the weather, and plan ahead. That means you usually know the date, and time frame, for what you plan to shoot. I do not just go out on a clear night and randomly try to see what I can capture. Do that and you end up wasting precious little time between clouds, weather, etc. And miss out on objects that you really want to see in your photos. The milky way really requires planning, I plan months in advance for it to know time frames. For bodies/galaxies/DSO's, I use software to see where they will be, when, and compare to weather, and plan a day or two ahead for them. This way when I go out, I can use every minute doing captures.

Why do I stress all the planning? If you go out for 2~3 hours, and you're not very well experienced with setup, right exposure, pointing towards the right area of the sky, things you cannot plan for (random weather spikes) or foreign light you didn't plan on (other people usually... ggrrrr), you will find that in that time frame, you get very little shots, and of those, how many are truly keepers? Composition still matters, and so you might re-do a few shots after you view them. That's a lot of standing around. Use that standing around time to plan out your next shot or keep an eye on the weather or flying object.

I can't stress how many shots I've stopped due to a stupid airplane flying right into my field of view. I hate the human impact on light sometimes. So there's a lot of time lost due to just waiting for the airplanes/jets to get out of your sky. Sometimes, the traffic is heavy and you literally cannot get a shot without them for a while! When you do 4+ minute exposures like I do, this can waste literally an hour of your time!

Anyhow, get people interested by looking for a crew who wants to go camping and backpacking, and definitely look into other photographers. Seek out other astrophotographers in your area. You'd be surprised there are likely many. You can swap techniques, share gear, and share company.

Some people love to go and are just looking for a reason--you asking could be that reason.

I know if someone actually asked to hang out with me all night, I'd take them, simply because no one ever does (Florida). Though in my area, people do "fishing" buddies all time. We meet/arrange on a forum dedicated to fishing in Florida, and meet up. The same thing exists for photography actually. Just look into it in your country. Google away!

Very best,


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virginie24jb
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Mar 10, 2014 17:40 |  #4

Thanks Mr_Bester and thank you for your detailed answer MalVeauX. I don't trust people very easily so I guess it's gonna take a while before I get to know someone I can go with. :confused:


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Proper_propaganda
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Mar 10, 2014 22:23 |  #5

I found like minded photographers through facebook and other social media outlets. There are some really talented astrophotographers in my area and we go out shooting together a lot. I don't really have the same concerns that a young women might though. If I were you I'd be hesitant to go out in the middle of the night to remote locations with strangers.




  
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Luckless
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Mar 12, 2014 13:20 |  #6

Odds are good that there is a general astronomy club in your area. Start going to the meetings to get introduced to other people who are interested in trekking out to dark sky locations.

I think astrophotography works very well along side a group of visual observers. Everyone arrives and starts setting up their gear. Most portable astrophotography setups I've seen take longer to configure on site than what the majority of visual setups do, and as such by the time you have finished with getting your image capture ready to roll there will probably be someone else who has finished with their visual setup and want to show it off.


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Scrumhalf
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Mar 12, 2014 13:26 |  #7

Luckless wrote in post #16753447 (external link)
Odds are good that there is a general astronomy club in your area. Start going to the meetings to get introduced to other people who are interested in trekking out to dark sky locations.

This. Generally, astronomy club activities will revolve around the new moon, so there should be lots of opportunities every month. And they are pretty universally a laid back and friendly bunch in my experience. You'll enjoy it and learn about astronomy too if you need pointers on that.


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virginie24jb
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Mar 12, 2014 13:49 as a reply to  @ Scrumhalf's post |  #8

Thank you all for your suggestion. It's true that I came across a meeting of astronomers once when I went to take some pictures. I think I'm gonna start with that. I've been fascinated with astronomy since I was young (but not to the point of learning everything by heart) so that could be a nice opportunity to go back to this.


http://www.virginie-bitterlin.com (external link)
http://www.visiting-washington.com (external link)
500∞ (external link) - Flickr (external link)
Canon 6D, Canon T4i/650D, Canon 24-105, 18-135 IS STM, 50 f/1.8, Canon 70-200 f/4, Samyang 14mm f/2.8, Samyang 24mm f/1.4

  
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Proper_propaganda
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Mar 12, 2014 22:39 |  #9

It's great having some people to go out with at night. Going out alone to the middle of nowhere in pitch black, while usually rewarding, can be really creepy. I've had some times out by myself way out in the woods where I get super freaked out. I usually go out with one other photographer who's always down for an adventure, but I've gone out before with 4-5 other astrophotographers and it's a blast! Sometimes it sucks if there aren't a lot of different foreground options but usually we all find our own thing to shoot.




  
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aartvark
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Mar 17, 2014 18:21 as a reply to  @ Proper_propaganda's post |  #10

I used to go with somebody I made friends with where I bought my telescope. It's a good source to access clubs through. Sometimes they have star parties. I once got to see the swan nebula through a 22 inch reflector this way. It was an unforgettable experience. I had to climb a 6 foot ladder to reach the eyepiece. LOL


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neimad19
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Mar 26, 2014 21:33 |  #11

As suggested - Astro Clubs would be your best bet. The only problem though is most members, in my area anyway, are out of my age group (not that it bothers me). Local flickr groups often have keen like minded members that you could probably go with if you get to know them.

When I lived in Canada, venturing out into the woods during the night was an incredibly peaceful activity for me. I felt a lot safer in the mountains at night than I would in a big city at night.




  
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virginie24jb
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May 18, 2014 05:45 as a reply to  @ neimad19's post |  #12

I went up last night, with my brother who actually starts to like this too... to the point of asking me if I want to go back tonight.
But I understand now what some of you have said: being alone up there is not the biggest problem. Wildlife is. :eek: A little strange noise and we were back in the car, off to another location. Really felt like cowards. :lol: But hey, we're city-dwellers. We're not used to it. We saw over a dozen does and deers on our way up and down. It's not reassuring at all...
Any advice for that?


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http://www.visiting-washington.com (external link)
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neimad19
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May 18, 2014 06:51 |  #13

Make lot's of noise :)

As soon as nearly ANY wild animal hear's a noise it's not familiar with it'l most likely leave the area. Hiking through bear country a lot we always carry small bells that give the bears warning we are heading their way.

Chatting amongst your selves, whistling, humming a tune all work well. Most* land animals know very well that humans are a big threat to them and will stay as far as they can. After you've spent a few nights out in the forest/bush you'll start to feel a lot more comfortable and break that anxiety you get the first few times.




  
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virginie24jb
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May 18, 2014 09:08 as a reply to  @ neimad19's post |  #14

Well, thank you. :lol: Basically, it's the opposite of what we were doing... We would freeze and wait to see if we'd hear that weird noise again. We would hear it again. And run to the car, which was never really far.
No, we need to talk, to sing, to whistle, clap hands... We can do that: disrupt the quietness of nature. ;)


http://www.virginie-bitterlin.com (external link)
http://www.visiting-washington.com (external link)
500∞ (external link) - Flickr (external link)
Canon 6D, Canon T4i/650D, Canon 24-105, 18-135 IS STM, 50 f/1.8, Canon 70-200 f/4, Samyang 14mm f/2.8, Samyang 24mm f/1.4

  
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Photo123abc
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Jun 13, 2014 09:01 as a reply to  @ virginie24jb's post |  #15

I go shoot mostly with local camera club members. Its good to have someone with you, incase something happens. Personaly I am not too worried about wildlife since bears and other animals rarely attack humans, expecialy if you make yourself visible and they hear / smell you first.

Icy roads or slippery roots along the way and you may find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere. I always carry atleast one knife, matches and lighters etc. basic stuff in my camerabag.


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