Astro Photography – read all about it! The Story Behind – Vortex Rising
So this is an occasional series where give a full account of a particular image… in this case it’s all about taking photos in an environment which just needed some loud Club Music playing to complete the scene setting. Read on!
My original photo story went something like …
I love taking landscape photographs/panoramic photographs and I do love my Astro photography, but one of the challenges I find within it is to make sure my images look different to others. Let’s face it, the image is of the Galactic Core and that’s about it. Different position in the sky, different foreground, and different processing. That’s pretty much it.
Planning also comes into the equations. You can only take what is there, on clear skies, one week per month from March to October when there is no Moon. If you want the core to rise over the sea, go early in the season, So that’s what I did here.
After the initial capture I decided to pretty much throw the rule-book out of the window in terms of processing. There are a lot of videos out there on YouTube which show you how to process the Milky Way, and they all adopt a similar approach. But hang on, you can’t see it with your eyes, so just who exactly has the final word on how it should look in a photo? Eh? um? This time, ‘I Did It My Way’, to quote Sid Vicious, I think it was.
A few more details:-
What you don’t see.
I wasn’t well. Really I should have stayed indoors and rested up. I did the one-hour plus drive OK in the nice warm car, but when I got to Norah Head it was windy! I had to park up outside the main gates (more on that later) and walk up to the lighthouse and keep going. Yep – I actually kept going past the Norah Head lighthouse for an Astro shoot! Who does that? I walked down onto the beach and then onto the rock platforms and set up. For those that haven’t been to Norah Head in the dark, yes it’s dark, but there’s also a lighthouse. That meant the beam kept sweeping around. So, yours truly had a moderate sized backpack on, was standing on uneven rocks, and trying to keep upright. (Why you should always travel light here) All this with my multi-focals on – they always do my head in in the dark! I set my tripod up so it was nice and steady (more on that here)
It got better.
A few test images showed up that my shadow was stealing the show! All I could see was my shadow dominating the foreground on the first shots I took. And this is on a 30-60 second exposure. So I had to lock the shutter open with the remote, and then walk away from the camera – and – keep moving! so my shadow didn’t form. I was dancing around over uneven rocks like a nutcase, so my shadow didn’t feature, all this with flashing lights all around me. The things I do for my Australian landscape photography! Where was the club music playing??? Thank goodness there were only a couple of other ‘togs around. Strange, given it was a clear night on an astro Saturday…
What I saw Afterwards
Hmmmm.. not too sure what to do here. Looks OK but like every other Milky Way or Astro photography I have done. What to do? Read another ‘How to Process the Milky Way’ tutorial? Watch yet another ‘How to Process Astrophotography’ video?
So I kinda just went with the flow, that’s my processing flow, not someone else’s … Lots of contrast, lots of vibrance, lots of masks. I tried to make it as unreal as I could. A photographic art look… Not sure if its a classic Australian Photography look but that wasn’t what I was after. it did take 2 or 3 goes in Photoshop to get right… Not sure when to process your images? Read on …
Am I Happy?
Yep – it looks different. I’ve never seen as astro like it. That’ll do me. For my landscape photography do’s and don’ts that comes top of the list – make it your own!
I am hoping that if people want to buy landscape photography for their walls, they will buy something ‘different’. I am personally considering it for my own walls.
Canon EOS5D Mk III ~ Samyang 24mm ~ 20 secs ~ F2.8 ~ ISO 3200
The Berowra Photographer. Well, the Nutcase Astro Photographer this time.