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Anatomy of a Nightscape, Episode III: HDR and Focus Stacking

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 in the Pecos Wilderness of north-central New Mexico.

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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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How to Expose the Foreground in a Nightscape

In past tutorials, we’ve discussed planning imaging sessions, taking into account the weather and positioning of celestial objects. We’ve talked about how to properly expose the sky while avoiding star trailing. What we haven’t talked about yet is the other half of a nightscape; the foreground. In this tutorial, I share six techniques I’ve learned over the last couple of years that you can use to ensure your foregrounds compliment the starry skies in your images.

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Shooting the Stars from a Plane: Part 1

Shooting the stars usually requires a high degree of precision. You need a good understanding of how your camera behaves and a rock-solid tripod, so intuitively, it seems impossible to do from a passenger jet. But late-night flights aren’t exactly known for their entertainment value, so I tried it for myself, and here’s what I found.

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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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