The weather has been very patchy here recently, but wanted to get out and do some test photos. Because they were tests, wasn’t too fussed about where I went except that the conditions would be satisfactory for the tests.
Leading up to the shoot, I did the normal checking in advance. The moon cycle and the core of the milky way are very predictable. Weather is somewhat less. Seeing the conditions around various locations, I decided that the Friday night was ideal, but I was very tired after work and had some morning personal health and fitness commitments that I wanted to uphold. The wind fore-cast across locations was stronger than I wanted, so several things I wanted to do wouldn’t work. So – it’s mainly a testing night.
I made the trip to the Pinnacles – around 160km north of where I live (100 miles). I’ve shot from the location a lot, and it’s very accessible due to it’s proximity to Perth. Probably the main reason why I went to the Pinnacles in this instance is that I brought my 2 daughters with me, so wanted some additional safety of a well known location.
I wanted to run 2 tests on this occasion:
- Use a compact camera to shoot the milky way.
- Use off camera flash to create some hard directional light and long shadows.
COMPACT CAMERA SHOOTING THE MILKY WAY
I used a canon s200 compact camera. I won this camera due to having an honourable mention at the CWAS David Malin astrophotography awards for 2014. It has some manual settings. I shot this image at F2, 15s (the maximum normal shutter for this camera), ISO 3200. It shoots jpg only.
As per my other blog post on the quality of light. This time – I decided to try having the light sufficiently far forward to create some long shadows. I’m a bit mixed by the result – I upped the power of the flash to 1/32 and shifted the flash back to have more effect from the inverse square law. I still had the flash in the gary fong light sphere – so there was some spreading of light around the speedlite.
Not too happy with the image though – in terms of balancing of the elements, it’s not weighted very well. I did want to keep the light pollution in the middle though with it framing myself – so had to compromise in this instance.
36 image panorama at F2.8 ISO 6400 16mm