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Archive 2012 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye
  
 
tom lozinski
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p.1 #1 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye


I'd appreciate any suggestions. I really want to do longer exposures but planes and boats only stay away for so long and NY city is 50 miles away so light pollution is inescapable.


fisheye minus planes.JPG by lozinskitom, on Flickr



Jan 05, 2012 at 05:21 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #2 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye


Seems like you did an excellent job correcting the fisheye distortion. Horizon is looking pretty good.
While the image is pleasing I dont find it engaging enough. Not enough action highlighted in the sky and not enough shapes and colors to add other elements of interest. The sand seems to point to the center horizon, but not much to find there.
Scott



Jan 05, 2012 at 06:08 PM
tom lozinski
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p.1 #3 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye


Thanks Scott, I know it is difficult to say that an image isn't that interesting so I thank you for your honest comments.


Jan 05, 2012 at 06:17 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #4 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye


You're welcome.
I didnt really offer constructive advice. More what's missing.
What would work better?
A darker sky with more contrast with the trails. Brightest trails pulling the eye somewhere towards some foreground interest (a silhouette, the point of the beach, a pier, a tower, a jetty along the inlet?
(remember, I used to vacation at Island State Beach, Seaside, Brick)
Scott



Jan 05, 2012 at 06:31 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #5 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye


Took a stab at it.







Jan 05, 2012 at 09:55 PM
tom lozinski
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p.1 #6 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye


The extra contrast does seem to make the trails more visible. I wonder if I take a shorter duration shot at a higher ISO and then subtract that from the longer shot if it would work at reducing the constant light polution. The only problem I foresee is that you'd have black spots where the stars were in the subtracted photo. Maybe blend options would help. Time for some experiments (well on the next clear night after the full moon at least.)


Jan 05, 2012 at 11:40 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #7 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye


It's a nice capture. It is uncommon to have two bright focal points in the sky. In a normal sky shot that might seem odd, but here the brightest meteor streak on the left evokes the impression that the glow on the left over the horizon might be caused by one before it hitting the ground. At the same time the highlight on the left side of the beach and the rocks lead the eye right to the other glowing spot on the horizon from the setting sun.

But I found myself getting pulled away from those focal points all the way to the right edge of the frame by both the bright highlight on the beach on the right border and the fact that past the bright spot of the sunset the beach slopes down towards it creating a line to follow downhill to it. That single spot of light poking through the clouds on the right is also distracting.

I tried alternate crops and found that one cropped in on the right (past the light in the clouds) and then up from the bottom to maintain the panoramic format worked better for me. The crop on the right to eliminate the bright distraction and downslope, and the crop on the bottom to make in less foreground weighted and more sky dominant because there isn't anything interesting in the foreground.

I'd also suggest opening the shadows on the rock to reveal more detail. Camera's due to their short ranges and fixed apertures don't adapt like our eyes do. If seeing that scene in person if you were to scan across the dark rocks your pupils would dilate and you'd perceive more detail in them than the camera, optimized for exposing the sky was able to capture. Thus to make the photo more like the in-person viewing experience it's necessary to dig into the shadow detail the camera was able to capture and lighten it. Even when the camera hasn't recorded much in the way of detail just making the shadows lighter than 0,0,0 black will trick brain into equating lighter tone with detail.

The rocks aren't a very important element here, but if you are going to include them you might as well make them more rewarding for the viewer to look at



Jan 06, 2012 at 03:24 PM
 

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newhaven
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p.1 #8 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye


I used Filter> Other> Maximum... to widen the star trails, Filter> Median to smooth them, and then Unsharp Mask... to increase contrast. I used a gradient map to blend the sky colors.







Jan 06, 2012 at 07:22 PM
tom lozinski
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p.1 #9 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye


There aren't any meteor strikes, just stars, some brighter than others. I can try making the rocks brighter but this shot doesn't have anything to do with what your eyes would perceive. It was quite dark. I will play with that though to see how it works. I tried a new technique and I'll post the results when I get home. I copied the sky, blurred it and moved it about 10 pixels so the star trails wouldn't line up. Then I subtracted this sky from the original images, in essence subtracting the light pollution. I lowered the opacity of the light pollution layer to 50% and it looked relatively realistic.


Jan 06, 2012 at 07:24 PM
tom lozinski
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p.1 #10 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye



subtracted sky.JPG by lozinskitom, on Flickr



Jan 06, 2012 at 10:45 PM
pinn8
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p.1 #11 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye


I think the correction for the fisheye distortion generated some strange results in the star trails. The stars on the right do not look like they are going in a circle like the ones on the left. In fact, the ones on the far right look like they are moving in a circle around a point outside of the frame on the right.

Overall, I do like the image. I think it looks better with the darker sky in your most recent version.



Jan 10, 2012 at 04:07 AM
tom lozinski
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p.1 #12 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye


pinn8, that is natural. There is a north star and a southern equivalent. The stars on the right are rotating around what would be the southern polar equivalent.


Jan 10, 2012 at 04:13 AM
katzung1
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p.1 #13 · Star trails over beach sand with fisheye


Hi Tom: If you are serious about star trails in a very light-polluted environment, you might try a light-pollution filter. When I was doing a lot of astro-imaging, I found it quite useful for the long exposures needed for film. Not cheap, but worthwhile. When I switched to digital, it was no longer necessary at my less light polluted site but for your site it might help a lot. Obviously, multiple short exposures are needed to get long trails on digital. Also much better for getting rid of airplane trails, etc.
Bert
www.astronomy-images.com



Jan 10, 2012 at 04:28 AM





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