Night 2018 - IMG_8272
I've been practicing doing close-up shots of the Orion constellation as it sets early in the west now. Finally I think I've got one that I consider not too bad. At Lake Brown / Campion, Western Australia whilst waiting for the Milky Way core to rise, I sent my brother up a rocky ridge that lines the western shore of the lake. I did this for two reasons: (1) so that he was far enough that I could use my 85mm which nicely frames the length of Orion, and (2) taking a shot at a slightly upward angle means cutting through less atmosphere and reducing the effect of air glow which tends to spoil shots close to the horizon.
On the bed of the dry salt lake, I used an iOptron sky tracking mount to take essentially a two panel vertical mosaic (I actually took a four panel vertical pano but cropped the final image to the one shown as it seemed more dramatic close in). A Canon EOS6d (modified) was used through a Canon 85mm f/1.2 lens stopped down to f/3.2. All camera and lens settings were kept the same for all panels, and all shots were taken one immediately after the other. The iOptron tracking mount was used for the sky and turned off for the foreground panels. Stitching in PTGui, colour balance and background neutralisation in Pixinsight, noise reduction, saturation and some brightness / contrast adjustment in Photoshop. Details below.
| 2018-04-14 | Lake Brown / Campion, Western Australia | EOS6D modified | Canon 85mm f1.2 | f/3.2 | UV/IR cut-filter | iOptron mount | ISO3200 | 30sec | 4 x panels, but cropped down |