Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Week 37, Day 264, January 13, 2010, Are the Stars Out Tonight?

I have a new toy.  It's a 2x extend for my 70-200mm lens.  My understanding is that it basically extends the lens to a 140-400mm lens. 
I received the 2x extender as a Christmas gift, and I have wanted to take some photographs of the stars.  I realize that there are much better ways of doing this, but I just wanted to see how well it would work.  Unfortunately we have had very few clear nights since Christmas. 

Tonight I was attempting to take photos in the clear patches of the sky, but the clouds began to move, and in a short time it was cloudy.  I took this photo for all you astronomy buffs that have had to fight the clouds.

Happy Star Gazing.

Lessons Learned:
  • My tripod works fairly well when the lens is horizontal and runs parallel with the ground, but when I attempt to take a photograph of Pleiades (7 sisters) star cluster, my lens would not stay still.  Gravity was pulling the camera downward.  I'll need to find another way to attempt this.
Photo details: Exposure time 4 sec, Aperture f/5.6 (2x extenders lowest f-stop), ISO 800, Focal Length 140 mm, Lens Canon 70-200mm f2.8L USM, tripod.

9 comments:

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Stevo, heavenly!

Andrew said...

Cool shot, Pleiades really sticks out!

P.S. You can probably make some kind of 90° jig that mounts your tripod to your camera in such a way that your tripod thinks it's level while your camera is pointing straight up.

toledonative said...

Great shot! As I was driving home from Ann Arbor tonight the stars were out in full force - there's a stretch of US23 that runs through farm fields and is just far enough from the light pollution of all the cities - the stars were AMAZING tonight - I found my mind wandering to ways of shooting them with the equipment I have! How fun to come home and see you had a similar thought!

I am seriously jealous of your extender! I was actually thinking of just laying the camera on the ground (not in the snow of course - would have to be on a surface of some sort), pointing straight up, and letting the shutter stay open for a while - maybe triggering the shutter remotely or with the timer.

Mélanie said...

It's beautiful
Whenever I take a picture of the sky at night in Paris, it's red because of all the lights
You are lucky to be able to see that!!

RuneE said...

Nice try! I have only managed the moon and Venus.

A solid tripod ought to be stable against gravity, but another problem might be that the earth moves, and fairly short shutter speeds or special equipment may be necessary. An amateur Astronomy journal is sure to have covered this.

Nicki said...

This is amazing!!

Yolanda said...

I don't know much about astronomy, but this is one cool shot! How fun to have the equipment to do this - it opens up a whole new world (literally)!

Carmi said...

Pictures like this make kids want to become astronauts.

Wenche R said...

Really nice...
Stars live in the evening, you know. But some of us need the sun..
Like your photos. Like the way you're looking ahead for new adventures with you camera. I'll look in again..
;-)