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eric hagemann wrote:
Awsome work -- can you share EXIF
A couple of things you need to know before shooting the Milky Way.
It shows up in the Northern hemisphere only in the Summertime. So, if you think you could go to Death Valley to take a nice shot when it's cool over there, it won't work. I thought that once but I learned that in the wintertime you need to go to Australia or New Zealand to take a clear shot of Milky Way. You can check the Internet for when and where the Milky Way will show up in the area you are at. My friend had an Android application for that (yes, there is one) and we were waiting for a good timing, which is everything in photography, to go to Joshua Tree and take a good shot at it. The sky has to be Moonless too. If the Moon is up the light from it will completely obscure faint light coming from the Milky Way. So two things now has to happen before you attempt shooting MW: Summertime and the Moonless sky.
Now, the actual photography. It's actually easy once you know the 500 rule. It won't work without knowing what that is. If you into night photography this is an essential rule to know and I'm going to spell it out for you here. You take a 500 number and divide it with the focal length of your lens. For night photography you want as wide as possible to expose for as long as possible. I had Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens so I set it at 14mm @ 2.8 (at such distance the lower the aperture the better) and 500/14 = 35.7. The 35.7 is the number in seconds you need to expose your 14 mm lens for to get the clear shot without seeing yet any movement of Earth. This is of course at most you can expose. If you expose for longer everything on the sky will be blurred, and instead of stars as dots you will get star trails. In this case you don't want that, of course.
That is it. I followed the 500 rule and a good timing.
For the arch.... My friend was hiding behind it and while the shutter was opened he triggered his flash once. This gave this depth effect. I also set my ISO to 1600 and set the Noise Reduction to off.
If you take a shot with these settings and your pic comes out too dark set your ISO to 3200. But I've never had to go higher than 1600.
Hope this helps you, and you all.