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  • Betty Girardeau

Mysteries In The Night Sky

This is my latest photography challenge, trying to get decent and interesting images of the night sky. This shot was taken from my back porch in August of 2015. Such a shot these days is a bit more of a challenge because of increasing light pollution in my immediate neighborhood. I "could" get up about 4:30 or 5:00 some mornings and have a bit better luck because the landscape lights in two of the yards behind me go off about 4:30, and I may try that tonight. I also have to pick a night when the moon is not particularly full and or has already set, otherwise, its light dims out the stars. I would like to try to get some decent star trails. For that I have to take quite a few four to five minute exposures over the course of at least an hour or two and then stacking them together in post processing software to get the final image. That means getting more familiar with my intervalometer, which allows me to set the camera to do all the work for me as well as hoping that my camera battery is fully charged and lasts long enough to do that. I tried a couple of nights ago and thought I had set my intervalometer correctly but hadn't, and then what I thought was a fully charged battery gave out. So at 11:30, I told myself that was enough, and I would have to try another night. If I can ever master just some simple night shots and get beyond ones like the one above, my goal is to be able to get shots of the Milky Way. That would require getting a lot further away from city lights as well as being the right time of the year. In this hemisphere it is only visible from the spring through October. In addition I need to be more comfortable going out alone at night to sparsely populated locations, something I am not too eager to do. Maybe by next spring I can find someone else who is also interested in astrophotography who would like to go with me. Until then I will keep trying for star trails and some different kinds of moon shots in my attempts to demystify the night sky.

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