Day 66: a night sky

It’s rarely dark in Roseville. The lights from St. Paul, Minneapolis, the freeways and shopping centers illuminate the sky at night. However, on February 5th Orion was bright enough to cut through the noise of the southeastern sky.

1 second exposure
1 second exposure at 8:35pm

5 thoughts on “Day 66: a night sky

  1. Great shot. I love how you have Orion just peeping out from behind the tree.
    Do you happen to know what ISO and aperture you had your camera set on? It might sound to go against logic but a higher ISO tends to work better for shooting the night sky, providing you don’t have too much light pollution. You will find that you’ll be able to pick up more of those fainter stars.

    1. f1.8 and ISO 640. The ISO was set by the camera…next time I try a night sky picture I will take more control of the camera. How high would you recommend? Thank you for the input, I appreciate the advice.

      1. No problem.
        Ideally you would want 800 ISO as this will give you good light sensitivity while keeping the noise to a minimum. The other thing to watch out for at high ISO is dead pixels, these become more noticeable the higher you go. You will notice these as red, blue and / or white specks (more obvious as you zoom into the image), unfortunately they are unavoidable. As for your aperture, keep that at 1.8, you need it as large as possible to let as much light in as you can. Exposure wise, set this to 30 seconds. As I said earlier you may struggle if you are in an area with quite a lot of light pollution. If you are, start to drop your exposure time down.
        Give these a go and see how you get on.
        I hope you don’t mind if I give you a tip for focusing also. It can be incredibly hard to do in the dark, but I find the best way is take the camera off auto focus and if you have it use the live view on your screen, and zoom in on the image on the screen. Having a torch handy to shine on a tree for example so you can clearly see what you are trying to focus on is always useful. Once you have got the focus correct, then frame your shot. Getting the tree or ground object in focus will also mean your stars are sharp.
        Good luck 😀

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