Summer 2020 contest?

BilBo

Member
There's no contest because there's no prizes. Henry's bought out the Lens & Shutter chain a while back and then closed the store on Broad Street. The Lens & Shutter gift cards we were giving as prizes are valueless now. We're going to have to give the Contest a rethink.
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
There's no contest because there's no prizes. Henry's bought out the Lens & Shutter chain a while back and then closed the store on Broad Street. The Lens & Shutter gift cards we were giving as prizes are valueless now. We're going to have to give the Contest a rethink.
My suggestion: a digital gift certificate for one of the local or online photo print/book printing services. Is Black's still here? LD of course does stuff like this, and as mentioned there are online Canadian companies that offer large prints or photobooks or novelty mugs for photos and so forth.
 

Bruce Whittington

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the compliments - it actually was easier than I expected. This was taken about 15 minutes from where I live. After I finished the shoot, I got home by about 11:15 pm, so not very late. And there across the street from the house was the comet! Well, there were a few chimneys and powerlines and street lights in the view too, so not nearly as photogenic. My last comet photo was Comet West in 1976 - time marches on. . .
 

DaveWT

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the compliments - it actually was easier than I expected. This was taken about 15 minutes from where I live. After I finished the shoot, I got home by about 11:15 pm, so not very late. And there across the street from the house was the comet! Well, there were a few chimneys and powerlines and street lights in the view too, so not nearly as photogenic. My last comet photo was Comet West in 1976 - time marches on. . .
Do you care to share what camera you used and settings etc.
 

Bruce Whittington

Well-Known Member
Happy to share - though I am by no means an experienced astrophotographer. I set the camera (Nikon D810, but settings could apply on any DSLR) on aperture priority as I always do. Focussing on astronomical objects can be surprisingly difficult (it's not just "infinity"), and the comet is faint through a camera viewfinder, so I wanted some depth of field, also to keep the relatively close trees more in focus; I used f9. I focussed on the brightest star visible at that point, then re-aimed the camera at the comet. ISO was set to 1000, which is not that high, but even so there was noise in the sky, but easy to manage in post-processing. At those settings the camera set shutter speed at 10 seconds for this image; I also bracketed exposures so I could choose the best. I used a Nikon 70-200 mm lens at 110 mm focal length. I took some also with a Nikon 200-500 mm lens at 500 mm but the comet is really only a fuzzy ball with a vague tail. Camera was on a tripod with vibration reduction off. At 10 seconds, the stars are almost pinpoints; at longer exposures the stars started to become streaks. I routinely use what's called "back-button focussing" for bird photography, which allows you to set focus and leave it, and it is not altered when you half-depress the shutter button. I didn't think of it at the time, but it would mean the camera was not trying to find something to focus on every time the shutter was pressed. I tried using the mirror-up setting, and also a third-party remote shutter release, can't remember which on this image. I am happy with the results but there was more than a little luck involved.
 

DaveWT

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all that. My Panasonic camera is not nearly so capable but this would certainly give me a starting point for some night photos. But then there are a lot of skills and patience you employed that I no doubt am lacking. Not to mention that artistic ability. Your photo has such a wonderful balance of the foreground scene (trees and colours in the sky) and the main attraction - the comet and starry sky. I think you made your own luck here!
 
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