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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Creating Natural NightScape Photographs


Creating Natural NightScape Photographs is a free 90-minute seminar I presented with the help of some of my friends, Ralf Rohner, Manish Mamtani, Eric Benedetti and Clarence Spencer. It was given on March 14, 2017 in the West Jordan, Utah Viridian Special Events Center before a group of 240 people. The tips in this tutorial will expand the knowledge you've gained from my Milky Way NightScapes eBook. For the best experience, go full screen and change the video settings to the highest quality. You can also share this YouTube video, using this link: youtu.be/2zRAFZr1pBg

Our thanks to Adobe Systems for their generous sponsorship for this free event.

5 Ways to Produce More Even Artificial Lighting was discussed, but the main presentation was about techniques to Reduce NightScape Noise, increase image resolution and quality.

One of five ways to produce more even and natural NightScape lighting is to increase the lighting distance in order to reduce light fall-off. Four other techniques are presented in the seminar.

Most of the seminar was about using these 6 techniques to decrease digital noise and increase NightScape image quality and resolution.

MULTIPLE IMAGE STITCHING: Instead of shooting ONE wide angle image (24mm on left), you can use a 50mm lens (with the camera in the vertical position) and shoot several overlapping images to create a simple panorama that can be cropped into an image that looks like the 24mm image, but now has about twice as many pixels, greater detail, and less noise.

Enlarged detail from the above two images. Even though the 24mm image was a stack of 8 exposures (which greatly reduced its noise), the 7-stitch image on the right has much more detail and resolution. See the next two images below to see how "exposure stacking" reduces noise. Click image to enlarge for detail.

EXPOSURE STACKING is another method of reducing digital noise and improving image quality. Instead of taking just one exposure of a night scene, you can increase your ISO by 33% to 100% and take many shorter exposures and then combine or "stack" these exposures together into one final image —using Photoshop or a variety of free or inexpensive stacking apps. Click image to enlarge for detail.

Exposure stacking not only reduces noise, but allows you to use shorter exposure times, producing sharper stars and revealing smaller stars that were obscured by noise! Click image to enlarge for detail.

Guest presenters, Eric Benedetti and Clarence Spencer finished the seminar with additional information about tracking and astro modification options for your camera's digital sensor.

Resources, Products and Software mentioned in this seminar presentation:

Star Stacking Resources:
Starry Landscape Stacker app (Mac) used by Royce & Manish Mamtani
Fitswork (Windows) app use by Ralf Rohner
Photoshop tutorial for stacking
Sequator is a new PC software (not mentioned in the video) that compares very favorably with Starry Landscape Stacker

Star Trackers:
Sky-Watcher Star Adventure used by Eric Benedetti
Vixon Polarie Star Tracker used by Royce
iOptron SkyTracker - most popular & least expense
Low Level Landscape Lighting organization
Astro camera modification by Spencer Camera

Royce's "Milky Way NightScapes" eBook
Photog Adventures - produced & edited the video of this presentation

Future Video Tutorials: This seminar is a spring-board for the future production of many short and highly concentrated video tutorials on specific topics, i.e. exposure stacking, tracking, multiple image panoramas and advanced lighting techniques. Each 10-minute video will move along quickly, with plenty of detailed and illustrated information on that topic. Your feedback and suggestions are appreciated in the comments below...










41 comments:

  1. thanks for sharing the wonderful and interesting seminar. i just checked the video and that holds something very knowledgeable in that particular subjects. keep sharing the awesome stuff!

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  3. Thanks for sharing the video with us for clarification. The nightscape images look natural and beautiful. Time to get a good camera and try these for once.

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