Aurora and Stars  

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snaefell
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Aurora and Stars

by snaefell » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:30 am

I was out some time ago to take pictures of the Milky Way and the stars over Iceland. For this, you need a really dark place with almost no light. I was at such a place and was not very pleased, when an aurora showed up. This phenomenon is nice, but much brighter than the stars. I was kind of lucky, since the aurora was only very weak and tried my luck. The results were pretty amazing.
Series of seven images stitched with Autopano Pro, taken with a D3, 2,8/20 at f 2,8, 20sec and 6400 ASA.



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by AlexandreJ » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:46 am

That's an amazing panorama.

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by superhoha » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:32 pm

yes. Cant agree more. And I really like stars... Poland... such a beautiful place. I want to go there some times :)
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by DrSlony » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:22 pm

Poland? :lol:

ps. Yes, a wonderful panorama, and I hope to see an aurora with my own eyes in my lifetime! The best sky I have ever seen was in Kruger National Park in South Africa, far away from any cities... but I haven't been to Iceland yet!

pps. the part of the sky about 2/3 of the way down is blurred vertically, what caused it? Did you use multiband blending, or did the camera move while shooting?

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by GURL » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:26 pm

... Or Policeland, perhaps?
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by snaefell » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:22 pm

Hi,

DrSlony wrote:Poland? :lol:

There are a lot of polish people here, but they still call it Iceland the last time I checked it :D

DrSlony wrote:National Park in South Africa, far away from any cities... but I haven't been to Iceland yet!

You can still see some light from small villages in the lower third of the image. I plan to go to another location later this winter and repeat it.

DrSlony wrote:pps. the part of the sky about 2/3 of the way down is blurred vertically, what caused it? Did you use multiband blending, or did the camera move while shooting?

I actually don't know it. I used multiband, yes.
Since the 20mm lens I used has some problem in the edges (the stars are not really round there any more) I think it can be a problem with rendering the pano. The camera was not moved, except for the turning around the axis to make the photos.

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by Takeo » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:09 am

Stunning ! Great shot.
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by superhoha » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:34 pm

There are a lot of polish people here, but they still call it Iceland the last time I checked it

Ah haha :D I meant Iceland :) you know :P was thinking ab polar bear :D
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by taf » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:51 pm

sooo amazing !!!! lovely vertical pano...
Look. There's a rhythmic ceremonial ritual coming up !

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by claudevh » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:19 am

"snaefell" this is really a beautifull sky image and very rare to get at the same moment stars AND aurora !!! :)

"DrSlony" the "vertical blur" is the result of the 20 seconds picture pause and is in fact the result of the stars translation.
This is difficult to choose a compromise between blur and pause of the picture.
When the sky is very contrasted (depend from the latitude mainly and the atmoshere quality) it is possible to take pictures with 10 seconds pause and this blur disappear completelly ... but with the aurora, probably that the contrast was probably to low ...
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by snaefell » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:06 pm

Hi,

claudevh wrote:"snaefell" this is really a beautifull sky image and very rare to get at the same moment stars AND aurora !!! :)

Thanks.

claudevh wrote:When the sky is very contrasted (depend from the latitude mainly and the atmoshere quality) it is possible to take pictures with 10 seconds pause and this blur disappear completelly ... but with the aurora, probably that the contrast was probably to low ...

Ah, I wasn't aware of this problem. I will try it next time, I shoot stars. With the aurora you have another problem, when shooting panos: They tend to move, which can cause problems in the stitching later on. Here you want to get all the images as soon as possible. I think I will have to try more.

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by Marv » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:51 pm

Nice shot.

I've shot many Aurora 1 hr north of Fairbanks Alaska at Chena Hot Springs Resort in the Wilderness... talk about a dark spot... and another great dark spot about 35 Minutes North of Fairbanks at Ski Land Mt.

I've taken up to a 2 min exposure with a 20mm on a 35mm film camera aimed nearly straight up with no noticeable start movement.

Very low noise on the D3 at 6400... or did you use a noise reducer?
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by snaefell » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:30 pm

Hi,

Marv wrote:I've shot many Aurora 1 hr north of Fairbanks Alaska at Chena Hot Springs Resort in the Wilderness... talk about a dark spot... and another great dark spot about 35 Minutes North of Fairbanks at Ski Land Mt.

Sounds great. Auroras are a great show, I actually wait for clear weather to take more pictures.

Marv wrote:I've taken up to a 2 min exposure with a 20mm on a 35mm film camera aimed nearly straight up with no noticeable start movement.

They are pretty straight, thats right. But the movement is visible. I will use a Sigma 14mm lens for this in the future, there it will be even less a problem.

Marv wrote:Very low noise on the D3 at 6400... or did you use a noise reducer?

I am always astonished, how less noise this camera produces. Your D700 should deliver similiar results. I used a little bit of de-noising in Lightroom (color and luminance noise reduction).

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by garhon » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:04 am

It really is an amazing picture, makes me wish I could visit iceland and see the aurora for myself!

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by Marv » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:33 am

Well gee... Here's a link to some of my shots with Supra 800 film pushed to 3200, and early D100 Digital at 1600. Click image to enlarge. http://www.highsierraproductions.com/auroras.htm

Enjoy
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by Cyril57 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:47 am

Snaefell , As usual it a great panorama. ! :)

I didn't used to vertical panorama but in that case it really nice. The Milky way is clear and stars too. It was probaly done during autumn or winter season because in Summer it's just impossible. right?

Where did you go to take this picture? In the North?
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by snaefell » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:46 pm

Cyril57 wrote:Snaefell , As usual it a great panorama. ! :)

Thanks. Always nice to see, that other people like the own panos as well.

Cyril57 wrote:I didn't used to vertical panorama but in that case it really nice.

I don't do this very often as well, but sometimes this is the format of choice.

Cyril57 wrote:The Milky way is clear and stars too. It was probaly done during autumn or winter season because in Summer it's just impossible. right?

I took this last year in october. This year we lacked clear nights (which was also a problem for shooting auroras) or the milky way wasn't visible any more, since it had already set. Next chance for images like this will probably not before the fall, since we are not far away from the time, when it is not getting dark any more.

Cyril57 wrote:Where did you go to take this picture? In the North?

This was taken in Iceland, close to Geysir/Thingvellirvatn. This is the south-west of Iceland.

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by Cyril57 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:32 pm

Thanks for your really quick answer ;)

I should have thought it was on north in an uninhabited places. I can imagine that sometimes it's difficult to live there especially in winter but you are lucky Snaefell to work and live there.

Perhaps your next panorama will be the midnight sun. ;)
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by snaefell » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:03 pm

Cyril57 wrote:I should have thought it was on north in an uninhabited places. I can imagine that sometimes it's difficult to live there especially in winter but you are lucky Snaefell to work and live there.

Its not as hard, as many people think. Especially the western part of Iceland is blessed by a part of the gulf stream, which makes the climate pretty stable thoughout the year. Additionally we now had two pretty warm winters in a row...

Cyril57 wrote:Perhaps your next panorama will be the midnight sun. ;)

This is possible ;)

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by Cyril57 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:16 pm

snaefell wrote:Its not as hard, as many people think. Especially the western part of Iceland is blessed by a part of the gulf stream, which makes the climate pretty stable thoughout the year. Additionally we now had two pretty warm winters in a row...

I know. I've been to Iceland in winter. What I meant was the lack of light. ;-)

Anyway, It's great.
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by Garfed » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:37 am

When the sky is very contrast (mainly rely on the quality of latitude and atmoshere) may pause for 10 seconds to take pictures, this fuzzy disappear completelly ... but with the Aurora is probably the contrast may be low ...

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by snaefell » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:18 pm

Cyril57 wrote:I know. I've been to Iceland in winter. What I meant was the lack of light. ;-)

This is something you get used to. And I like the winter as well, since we have northern lights and stars.

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by snaefell » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:19 pm

Garfed wrote:When the sky is very contrast (mainly rely on the quality of latitude and atmoshere) may pause for 10 seconds to take pictures, this fuzzy disappear completelly ... but with the Aurora is probably the contrast may be low ...

I wasn't aware of this problem, next time I will take it into account.


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