March 10, 2014

Photography: Wishing Upon A Star

Saturday night was the first time I've seen the sky filled with stars. Though there was too much light pollution from the city lights below, and the sky not totally clear, there was enough clearing for an attempt to capture the rich display of huge stars for the taking.

Look closer. What you see is not a blurry vision of the stars but rather of stationary stars starting to create a "trail" or "light stream". This is due from the earth rotating and shooting in very low shutter speed and wide aperture. Like a movie in slow motion, each movement is captured. If you look on the right side of this photo, you'll see the flaming red streak across the sky. Can you guess what made that trail? (Answer at the bottom of this post)

And here is a photo of the stars taken with a faster shutter speed and wide aperture. Notice that the stars have different colors. Some are red, blue and bright white. Apparently in Astronomy,  blue is the hottest and red is the least hot at all. 

Capture your own wishing stars
From the comfort of your home, make sure you are in a dark location without ambient light around you. Set your DSLR lens to its lowest mm if you want to capture more areas of the sky. In these photos, I used 18mm. Set your aperture to its widest to get more light to go through your lenses and capture a vivid image of your subject. I went for F3.5 which is the widest my camera can get to. Then, experiment by using a low ISO. I prefer ISO 100 and slow shutter speed of 8". To utilize a fast shutter speed, I used 1/100.

Now for the culprit of that hot red trail? It's not a bird, it's not Superman...Not even a comet...

Rather, it is merely but an airplane with it's night light flashing across the horizon.

Did you guess it right?


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