Ashes to Ashes *Explored*

At this risk of becoming one dimensional my photostream has featured lots of sky shots lately, this is the last of my Milky Way shots....for a while anyway!!!! This one is different from the others, shot with my 50mm manual prime lens @F2.4, Seven horizontal images stitched together in PS. Each image was a 5 second exposures at ISO 12800.

So why the relatively short exposure and high ISO, I hear you say!!!lol It's a bit technical, a 50mm lens on a cropped sensor gives an image which is similar to a focal length of 75mm lens on a full frame 35mm sensor. The larger the focal length the closer to the stars you get, obviously! The closer you get to the stars the more they will move in your frame. Stay with me!!!!As you take a photo of the stars, the Earth is moving, an exposure over 20 seconds at 18mm's on a cropped sensor camera will result in slight movement of the Stars and cause Star-trails. Stars will become triangular in appearance. There is a formula to calculate what time exposure for the focal length of your lens so as to avoid the movement of the stars. It's something like 450/focal length of lens (in full frame, 35mm format) For my 50mm lens this would be a 6 second exposure. I opted for 5 seconds and just pushed my camera's ISO to the limit.

I have a lot more to learn about shooting the stars and what I'm actually capturing. This image contains so much, it is hard to know what to start labeling. When you start to think about it, it's humbling to think how isolated we are on this little rock, which is for us, the center of our universe!


Pentax K-x, 5 sec, ISO 12,800 @ 50 mm (7 horizontal shots)


Click here to see my astro set

Steve-h, John Mee and 41 more people faved this
  • Richard Stocker 3y

    Brian Wilson I'd forgotten about any impact that the period of perpetual astronomical twilight around the period following up to and after the summer solstice might have on your exposure times - but then again, having seen that you've captured the faint light of airglow in one of your shots - sensible to avoid the end of June/ beginning of July (especially as you are a couple of degrees more north than I)

    I've learnt some things from looking at your 'Milky Way' work - especially as you make an effort to tell us what you've done, so it has grabbed my interest - I've been surprised by the sensitivity of camera detector and has motivated me to try a few things myself (although I'm not blessed with the dark skies that you have, thanks to the dreaded light pollution that is still present, despite our county council making the decision to switch off street lighting after midnight to save money. I was shocked and dismayed when I discovered that light pollution started to show up in this image ( with exposures greater than 2 seconds (when the streets lights were off). I assumed that it was light pollution being reflected by the slight haze on that night from London (even though the photograph was taken in a NE - E direction)?

    Given the sensitivity of the camera detector, I'm curious to how well the Andromeda galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda might be captured in wide-angle shots -especially at the kind of exposure times that you have been using. With the naked eye (even with binoculars) you can only really see the bright nucleus and the true size of the entire galaxy in the night sky (covering an area equivalent to some 6 full moons in the sky) is never appreciated because the disc is very much fainter.

    Look forward to your winter Milky Way shots :)
  • Mr.Yan Solo 3y

    It's simply amazing!!
    The photography is amazing and your little lesson too!!
    KEEP UP The good work!!!
    +1 and favorites
  • Mick Bourke. 3y

    Fantastic image.
  • Dianne Lacourciere 3y

    Amazing image,tones & silhouettes!
  • alan cronin PRO 3y

    Thats my favourite one yet brian,beautiful silhouettes and what a sky.
  • Bart Huizinga PRO 3y

    Amazing Brian, nice thinking on this picture! Absolutely love the graveyard on the foreground (if you can love a graveyard...). And that last sentence, about us being on this tiny rock, that's so true. There is so much out there, so much unknown.
  • Alan PRO 3y

    Very impressive Brian, never realised how many factors have to be considered ! Superb work indeed !
  • Brian Wilson PRO 3y

    Thanks everyone for the kind comments, adds and notes! Much appreciated, this image has made Explore, something that I'm very happy with! I've had other images make explore and could never understand why, as images such as this one, which required a lot of effort and time didn't make it, so that's why I'm happy that this image is getting a larger audience, thanks!
  • Bart Busschots PRO 3y

    Simply stunning Brian - you go so much detail in that sky scape, and the headstones make for a spectacular silhouette!

  • Dany Cantero PRO 3y

    Simply amazing!
  • Jen PRO 3y

    Stunning capture! Congrats on Explore!
  • Emma PRO 3y

    Amazing! And very informative. Congrats on Explore!
  • Fergal O'Callaghan PRO 3y

    Super stuff Brian, amazing piece of work
  • tattoogirl12 3y

    wonderful sky and beautiful composition, amazing work!
  • Ouchou Haya 3y

    Amazing shot!
  • George Brown PRO 3y

    Incredible image, excellent work...........just amazing.
  • David Relph PRO 3y

    Brilliant, love the blacked out gravestones against the milky way
  • Dave Morrow 3y

    wow, thats some amazing color:)
  • Richard Boyle PRO 3y

  • Photo_Lioness 9mo

    Oh my God!!! I can't believe how this picture takes my breath away!!! Absolutely stunning!!! Congratulations on that shot!
43 faves
Taken on August 14, 2012
  • K or M Lens
  • 50.0 mm
  • 5
  • 12800
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
  • Show EXIF
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