It’s going to be awhile before I can go out astrophotography imaging due so I took the opportunity to get out on Friday night to do some tests.
Tried something called the “Akira Fujii” effect – after the person who pioneered it. I’ll have to be honest in saying that I had heard of doing the technique but not the credit for who had done it – so it’s much better that we can credit the person for doing so.
What this technique does is to broaden/bloat the brighter stars while keeping detail in the other stars. This is particularly useful for identification of constellations.
Using a fog filter (in this case I used a square Cokin fog filter) held the filter in front of the lens for a portion of the exposure. For the sky exposure held it for 10s of 25s exposures before removing it. I used my cable release so I could time it precisely with the digital display. I also have a Tiffen double fog filter – I haven’t noticed too much difference between the two in practice, but will probably give it another test in due course.
There are other ways of using a fog filter – you can use a fog filter for the whole exposure – which will case more diffusion – bringing out the brighter stars and suppressing the fainter stars. Another way is to take an exposure with the fog filter and another one without – and then align and stack them – then you can use lighten for the fog layer and scale the effect with opacity.
A few links about this technique:
For this particular image – effectively a 27 image panorama stack at ISO 6400 F2.8 25s for each of the top layer exposures and 30s for the each of the lower layer exposures. Post processed in PTGui for the panorama stack and manually setting a lot of the control points. Then processed in photoshop – finding that as I’m developing, the amount of post processing is reducing a lot. I’ll get to some post processing posts shortly.
Lighting in the centre was from using a Yongnuo 560iii flash (with a Gary Fong lightsphere) – powered to 1/128+0.7 power. I held it up for one exposure and had it mounted on a tripod for the other exposures so it could light the landscape appropriately.