Each year since I started shooting at night I’ve added something new to the workflow, be it equipment, processing techniques or just better overall planning. This year, inspired by many images I see here, I was determined to add tracking to the mix. I’ve had a tracker for a while, but only halfheartedly played around with it. With a busy work schedule, nights out can be hard to come by and I was reluctant to “waste” one fumbling around with a piece of equipment I wasn't completely familiar with only to come home empty handed. So, on my last outing, after I was certain I got the shots I was planning on with my usual techniques, I setup the tracker and proceeded to do my first tracked Milky Way shots. I have no problem locating Polaris with the naked eye, but once I switch to the polar scope, it becomes a bit of a crap shoot. Hopefully that part will get easier with more practice. I fully expected my first try to be a streaky mess, but much to my surprise everything looked pretty solid. The sky in this image was tracked for about 2:40 and the foreground about the same with the tracker switched off. I was just playing around with settings to get a feel for what was possible, but dawn was starting to creep in and I had call it a “night.” I suspect my alignment was a bit off, but the wider focal length seems to be forgiving. I’ll have to work on that as well as cut my set up time in half, but overall this is an exciting step forward and ultimately, quality over quantity is the way to go. Never before have I been able to achieve such rich color and texture with so little effort in post processing. Next challenge will be to combine tracking with a more interesting and complex foreground.
Nikon D810 + Nikon 14-24 f/2.8
Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer
Sky (21mm, f/3.2, 156 sec, ISO 2000)
Foreground (21mm, f/3.2, 151 sec, ISO 2000)
#newmilkyway #natgeospace #nightscaper #milkywaychasers #thenakedsingularity #universetoday #natgeospace #ilovejoshuatree #joshuatreenationalpark
#desertinstitute #longexpo_addiction #ig_astrophotography #igworldclub_sky #californiacaptures #caligrammers #devine_deserts #deserts