Stargazing

I figured that this week’s meteor shower is as good a time as any to make a stab at doing a proper shoot of the night sky. Karen has been asking for some, and with the camera upgrade, I didn’t have an excuse not to drag out my tripod for some stellar shooting.

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Getting the technical specifics right was a little tricky at first. Focusing was difficult since autofocus was useless and I couldn’t make out the stars enough to manually  focus properly, so I had to resort to trial and error to get as close as I could. And as much as I was looking forward to using my phone as a remote via the D7200’s wireless connection, connecting the two was finicky enough that I spend as much time rubbing my phone on my camera to get the NFC to connect as I did actually shooting. Fortunately, I was able to just kick back and enjoy the evening once all the settings were where they needed to be.

In fact, firing off the occasional exposure from my phone, as I stared up at the stars was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in recent memory. I’m usually working on at least two things simultaneously at any given hour of the day until I just pass out late at night. And for all my love of science and astronomy, I’ve spent so much more time listening to Neil Degrasse Tyson talk about the stars than I have actually looking at them. But sitting out there in the cool, August air with nothing for company but my camera and the stars was a peaceful feeling I had almost completely forgotten.

House Building

20140418_134613(0)Lately, I’ve been helping a buddy and his family build a new house. It makes for some interesting angles, perspectives, and framing. I snapped a few frames on my phone between hauling heavy materials and playing with power tools. This shot was actually supposed to be a silhouette, but the image came out more evenly exposed than I thought it would, and then one thing led to another in Lightroom. What do you guys think, was I too harsh on those little cell-phone pixels? 

My First Composite Attempt

Moon Gestalt Attempt 2The “Super Moon” that got hyped up around the web turned out to be a massive letdown. So, screw nature, I’ve got Photoshop! I’ll just make my own moon image. Admittedly, my composite skills are still very basic, so most of this was trial and error. I’m not totally happy with it, but it’s a start. I’ll just have to keep practicing with it.

Of course any suggestions for improvement are welcome. So, please leave any thoughts in the comments below.