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.
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.
Photo 19-04-2015 10 22 04
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