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Showing posts from August, 2013

How to Reduce Star Trails

600/(18x1.5)= &%*@!*$

So, you either didn't follow the 600 rule, you're bad at math, or you made a mistake! Now you've got a shot that you absolutely love but the stars look like eggs, or worse yet, they are mini trails!
Don't scrap that photo without at least trying this little know trick of the trade.
In this tutorial I will teach you how to remove small trails to make your stars look crisper.
****  Does it always work??  Nope ****
But heck, why not at least give it a go before deleting that photo.
The Original Image
Here is my original image opened in Photoshop.  You will notice that the stars look like mini trails. This particular image was exposed for 43 seconds (23 seconds longer than I usually expose an image).

The Original Image Magnified
Here you will notice how the stars are trails and not as crisp as they should be. Normally most people would throw this image out.

Stars Layer Selection
Start off by selecting the sky.  I used the marquee tool but you can use an…

Creating Star-bursts

Creating Those Cool Spikes on Stars (or if you prefer, adding those awful flaws on a perfectly fine image)
I'm going to start off by acknowledging that this effect is not everyone's cup of tea.  In fact, I know some photographers that cringe every time they see it.

Nevertheless it is a look that many people do like and therefore to forward the world of art, I think it's prudent that I make a post so that people can make that choice for themselves.

What Causes Diffraction Spikes?
Diffraction spikes are created when the incoming light (acting in wave nature) diffracts (essentially bends) around a small object in the path of the light.

In a reflecting telescope the diffraction is created by the rods (Struts or Veins) that hold the secondary mirror.

In a camera lens, the diffraction is created by the small "out of round" opening created by the diaphragm blades of the lens.

So there you go, now you have an understanding as to what creates the spikes.  I'm also sure y…

Photographing the Perseid Meteor Shower - Including Post Processing

Photographing the Perseid Meteor Shower Best day is August 12, 2013

Perseids - associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, the Perseids are one of the best meteor showers of the year.  They are named the Perseids due to the fact that they radiate from the constellation of Perseus.  Simply stated Perseids are “those born of Perseus”
Perseus was the first of the heroes of Greek mythology whose exploits in defeating various monsters provided the founding myths of the Twelve Olympians.
Here is where to look in the night sky for the meteor shower Stellarium- is one of the best (free) tools to aid in astrophotography.  There are many things it is capable of which are explained in my blog post hereThe nice thing about stellarium is that it works on several different platforms.
Back in November 2012 is when I made the original guide to photographing meteor showers so follow the links and you should be good to go!

Photographing meteors
1. Wide fast lens More light = more stars (and shootin…