Astrophotography – what’s my shape.

One of the challenges that I have shooting with ultra wide angle lenses for the milky way panoramas.  If you take a single frame, you know that panoramas can look a little stretched at times as the stitch can warp the image in order to make it match.  I like trying to get a natural looking milky way core where possible and also like a nice rounded arch – but sometimes it’s a little bit of a trade off between the two.  There is also the other form of milky way – that I “straighten” out the milky way panorama at the expense of a very substantial distortion to the sides of the panorama as it warps it in.  Simply put – if you’re doing a milky way panorama, expect some form of distortion or warping in the process.

All these images look a bit over exposed since I shoot at 25-30s ISO 6400 F2.8 for these ones.  I expose them more than what is required as part of my image quality to reduce noise.

I didn’t really like this one – although the arch is a has a nice rounded feel, the core stretches out a bit and makes it feel like someones grabbing the sides of my head and pulling – try again :P.

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This style is more artistic – certainly not for this particular image though.  I use this method where the milky way core is higher in the sky.  I was a bit tired here – and should have waited a bit longer to do one of these stitches – the rocks look a bit like a mountain.

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This appears to be a “normal” sort of panorama and you can see the images sequenced in an orderly regular fashion.  To be honest, while I used this method for the image, I wasn’t very happy with it since it does make the milky way appear a bit too rectangular.  But the core is more natural in this instance and not as stretched as the first one.

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On a setting milky way – this is the regular sort of stitch.  I don’t really like how the milky way core here is a bit stretched and making it feel a bit bloated on the left.  A bit like when I’ve had too much dairy.

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Ur – maybe not 😉  Just wondered what it would be like to straighten it out.

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This particular stitch stretched it vertically – so if the first one was bloated, this one is about to burst.  I think I’ve had too much dairy.

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I preferred this sort in this instance.  Didn’t stretch out the milky way as much and felt a bit more natural.

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I do note however that in each of the above examples, there are ways around shifting a little bit here and there and maintaining the integrity of the image to reduce some of the exaggerations.  I just wanted to demonstrate that there are many different looks and I like having a nice arch and minimising the stretching of the milky way core.