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Perseid Meteor Shower, 2018

The Perseid meteor shower is the most active shower of the year. This year’s Perseids came on a new moon, meaning the skies would be dark and clear if the weather held out. A couple of friends and I were able to get out of town for an evening to watch the fireworks. Here’s what we saw.

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Anatomy of a Nightscape, Episode II: Smartphone Scene Lighting

I’ve described at length many of the techniques I use to shoot nightscapes. In this tutorial series, I’d like to keep things much shorter and pick apart some of my photos with minimal step-by-step instructions. The shot we’ll be going over this time was taken near Cabezon Peak in the New Mexico desert.

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Anatomy of a Nightscape, Episode I: In the River at Midnight

In previous posts, I’ve described at length many of the techniques I use to shoot nightscapes. In this tutorial series, I’d like to keep things much shorter and pick apart some of my photos with minimal step-by-step instructions. The shot we’ll be going over this time was taken on the Santa Barbara River in New Mexico.

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How to do Exposure Compositing in GIMP

One of the more challenging aspects of nightscape photography is getting the foreground to appear as striking as the background stars in the image. While it’s possible to shoot both in the same exposure, I’ve found it easier to shoot them with separate exposures and merge them in post. In this article, I share my process for exposure compositing.

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How To Plan An Imaging Session

Capturing our place among the stars in a photograph can be one of the most rewarding experiences for any astrophotographer. It can also be one of the most frustrating if you don’t put some thought into it ahead of time. Here are a few things you can do to minimize frustration and get the most out of your imaging sessions. Continue reading How To Plan An Imaging Session

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Trying New Things With an Old Lens

… It was 6:15AM, and still dark enough to go back to bed. At this point, I realized I wasn’t cold even after standing in the dark for almost 2 hours. My dashboard thermometer showed 57 degrees, and only the slightest breeze was blowing. I’ve had some great nights out, but this one was exceptional …

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How to Avoid Star Trailing

In last week’s First-Timer’s Gear Guide, I mentioned that your camera can take hundreds of times longer to properly expose a scene at night than it might during the day time. It’s all too easy to open your shutter long enough that the stars in the scene will start to trail. In this article, I explain how to avoid star trailing when shooting from a fixed tripod.

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First-Timer’s Gear Guide

So you’ve decided you want to try your hand at shooting the stars. You go outside, whip out your smartphone, and take a couple shots. You’re left with a mostly-black screen, with a big bright blurry circle in it if the moon was anywhere in the frame. How in the world do you take half-decent pictures of the night sky, anyway?

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