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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Astronomy & Celestial 
Thread started 12 Jul 2016 (Tuesday) 09:21
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My First Ever Attempt @ Night Photography #FAIL

 
mattmiller03
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Jul 12, 2016 09:21 |  #1

So I took my T3i with me to Northern Minnesota with aspirations to take some photos of the night skies and hope to capture maybe a hint of the Milky Way. Over the last few months I have been following treads and getting realllly excited for this trip. Get out of town and away from the city lights. I had bought a tripod, battery grip, extra batteries, filters (for day shooting not for this trip), and a wireless remote as well. Got all set up and did a few test shots in the camper and everything seemed to be working (using my 18-55 basic kit lense) and went outside and hit the remote button and it just wouldn't take the photo. I hear the AF working but I do not hear the shutter open. When I look at the screen all I see is the ExpSIM on the bottom right blink.

I guess I just wasn't ready to take MW or Sky Line photos.

Anyone know what might have caused this? Anyone know what might have prevented me from taking the photo with the generic equipment I have?




  
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peeaanuut
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Post edited over 2 years ago by peeaanuut.
     
Jul 12, 2016 09:26 |  #2

Autofocus needs light. Without light its just going to hunt. You need to get into manual focus. If most of what is in frame then you can go to infinity and be fine, but if you have something near you that you want in focus you need to manual focus on that. What you can do if its near enough is take a powerful flashlight, get your focus right in manual mode and then turn off the flashlight and take your photo. Night photography takes some practice but you will get it. Keep trying different things. Nothing wrong with your equipment, just gotta keep at it.


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airbutchie - Joe was definitely right about adding contrast...
:)

  
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andicus
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Jul 12, 2016 09:28 |  #3

Sounds like you didn't focus and the autofocus didn't find anything it was able to focus on.

Try focusing on a distant object (something bright enough for the camera to pick up) and then turn off autofocus. Be careful not to nudge the focus ring once you've achieved focus.

You could also just turn off autofocus and try focusing manually. Just take a test shot, and then zoom in to check your focus. Repeat until focus is achieved.




  
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mattmiller03
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Jul 12, 2016 09:57 |  #4

I thought there was enough light coming from the cabins to my right at the resort, but certainly worth a shot to maybe bring something more with me. I kinda figured I was having an issue with the AF not picking something up enough to focus on. It was a learning for me diffidently. I was all confident going into it and when I wasn't getting the shot my confidence was crushed. I clearly need to learn more about my gear. I haven't bought anything new (camera/lens) wise until I become more familiar at what I currently have.




  
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Canonuser123
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Jul 12, 2016 10:00 |  #5

I searched for the Exp.SIM and found this. http://community.usa.c​anon.com …S-Rebel/ExpSIM/td-p/27731 (external link)

For shots like this I set everything to manual mode, manual focus and manual exposure.




  
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peeaanuut
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Jul 12, 2016 11:01 |  #6

mattmiller03 wrote in post #18064935 (external link)
I thought there was enough light coming from the cabins to my right at the resort, but certainly worth a shot to maybe bring something more with me. I kinda figured I was having an issue with the AF not picking something up enough to focus on. It was a learning for me diffidently. I was all confident going into it and when I wasn't getting the shot my confidence was crushed. I clearly need to learn more about my gear. I haven't bought anything new (camera/lens) wise until I become more familiar at what I currently have.


Don't get discouraged, it takes practice. You can practice at home with low light photography before heading out to a location. It will be mostly junk delete shots but you can learn a lot at home just messing around in the garage and whatnot.


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http://joetakesphotos.​com/ (external link) : | : https://www.facebook.c​om/JKlingPhotos (external link) : | : https://twitter.com/jk​lingphotos (external link)
airbutchie - Joe was definitely right about adding contrast...
:)

  
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mattmiller03
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Jul 12, 2016 11:11 as a reply to  @ Canonuser123's post |  #7

at first glance when i saw this i was thinking my SD Card was bad..... then I checked it out online.




  
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Davenn
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Jul 12, 2016 22:46 |  #8

as other said, get out of auto-focus

Heed these words ..... NEVER use autofocus for astro photography

Dave


A picture is worth 1000 words ;)
Canon 5D3, 6D, 700D, a bunch of lenses and other bits, ohhh and some Pentax stuff ;)

  
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bruceiow
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Post edited over 2 years ago by bruceiow. (2 edits in all)
     
Jul 15, 2016 13:59 |  #9

Focus to infinity and back off ever so slightly. No af... don't feel too bad, I rushed out to capture some lightning shots once, got home to pitch black everything on all the captures. Photos all look better without the lens cap on it would appear... I went to bed grumpy lol. Then there was the time I went for a night car shoot without a memory card...




  
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peeaanuut
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Jul 16, 2016 18:05 |  #10

I went out once, took extra batteries, got all the way to the location, realized I charged and packed batteries for the wrong D-SLR.


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http://joetakesphotos.​com/ (external link) : | : https://www.facebook.c​om/JKlingPhotos (external link) : | : https://twitter.com/jk​lingphotos (external link)
airbutchie - Joe was definitely right about adding contrast...
:)

  
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Noitca
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Jul 20, 2016 11:43 |  #11

bruceiow wrote in post #18067925 (external link)
Focus to infinity and back off ever so slightly. No af... don't feel too bad, I rushed out to capture some lightning shots once, got home to pitch black everything on all the captures. Photos all look better without the lens cap on it would appear... I went to bed grumpy lol. Then there was the time I went for a night car shoot without a memory card...

Haha.

Several times I have gotten somewhere, started getting my camera out, then drop the shoulders and look to the sky, then promptly started putting it away. Then my wife looks at me and says "no memory cards?".. to which I simply state.. "Yep"


T1i with 18-55, 55-250, 50 1.8

  
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Scrumhalf
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Jul 20, 2016 12:00 |  #12

Set the camera to manual focus. Put it on live view mode and max magnification on live view. Try to focus on a star or planet until you can get the white dots as crisp as possible. Once you have done this, use a short 1" length of marking tape to place across the focus ring and body of the lens so that you can't accidentally nudge the lens off-focus. Now you are all set. Set your exposure to whatever the longest time you can use without getting star trails. This depends on the focal length of the lens you are using, but ranges from about 10sec to about 30sec depending on the lens. You can google for this - others have done the rough calculations. Take a bunch of shots and finally, one shot with the lens cap on. You can use a program like registax to merge these shots together to reduce noise. The "dark" will eliminate any constant background issues like hot pixels, etc. Keep playing with it and pretty soon, you'll get the hang of it.

And oh yeah, get a good green laser pointer, a red flashlight so that you don't fry your night vision, and a good book like "Turn Right at Orion" for visual location of interesting objects using waypoints in the sky. Highly recommended.


Sam
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If I don't get the shots I want with the gear I have, the only optics I need to examine is the mirror on the bathroom wall. The root cause will be there.

  
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Canonuser123
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Jul 20, 2016 12:12 |  #13

Scrumhalf wrote in post #18072577 (external link)
And oh yeah, get a good green laser pointer, a red flashlight so that you don't fry your night vision, and a good book like "Turn Right at Orion" for visual location of interesting objects using waypoints in the sky. Highly recommended.


What do you use the green laser pointer for?




  
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Scrumhalf
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Jul 20, 2016 12:14 |  #14

Canonuser123 wrote in post #18072593 (external link)
What do you use the green laser pointer for?

Mostly to point stuff out to any others with me.


Sam
5D4 | 6D | 7D2 (2 bodies) | Reasonably good glass
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If I don't get the shots I want with the gear I have, the only optics I need to examine is the mirror on the bathroom wall. The root cause will be there.

  
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Canonuser123
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Jul 20, 2016 14:01 as a reply to  @ Scrumhalf's post |  #15

I was hoping you were not pointing up in the sky with it, around me there are lots of planes flying overhead and pilots have been complaining about lasers.




  
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My First Ever Attempt @ Night Photography #FAIL
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