I just finished up some book revisions for Photography Night Sky and want to share it with you. If you have a version prior to January 2014 you will have the first or second printing and here are the changes. It is now in the third printing in less than a year from being released! Check out #2 and #12 for flashlight recommendations.
Happy Star Trails, Jennifer
1. Page 42
OLD: “ The smaller the f-stop number, the wider the depth of field (the depth of sharpness), and the larger the f-stop number, the shallower the depth of field.” To”
NEW: The smaller the f-stop number, the shallower the depth of field (the depth of sharpness), and the larger the f-stop number, the greater the depth of field.
2. Page 22
OLD: “temperature—yellowish for a normal flashlight.”
Tungsten lights are very warm toned, yellow in color, creating an appealing color when light painting. For a yellow, warm tone, look for Krypton, Xennon and Halogen light bulbs. Xennon and Halogen light bulbs are not as warm tone but still good. Led lights, such as headlamps and many flashlights, are very cool tone and blue in color. Some LED photographic lights (such as Lowel light panels), have dimmer switches to change the color temperature of the light from cool to warm.
3. Page 56
OLD: “In the Northern Hemisphere, in the summer months around July, you may notice the Milky Way move across the sky clockwise as an arch over the sky. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Milky Way moves counterclockwise from the south to southwest.”
NEW: As the Earth rotates, we see the Milky Way move across the sky, overhead. The direction and movement of it depends on your location. Check software or apps for where the Milky Way will be given your location, see resources. (Stars and Milky Way Apps: Star Walk, Heavens Above, PhotoPills. Software: Starry Nights, Starry Nights Software: www.starrynighteducation.com. Stellarium: www.stellarium.org. Free desktop planetarium software, shows the path of the Milky Way.)
For example, in June, at 8 pm in Namibia in the Southern Hemisphere, the gaseous, denser part of the Milky Way is seen traveling from the southeast to the east when looking toward the horizon, moving overhead throughout the night. In June in California, at 11pm in the Northern Hemisphere, the dense part is seen traveling from the south to southwest when looking toward the horizon.
4. Page 163
OVATION Auroral Forecast (NOAA): Replace link with updated link: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov
5. Page 163:
Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES): Replace link with updated link: http://poes.gsfc.nasa.gov
6. Page 164:
StarStaX Replace link with updated link:http://www.markus-enzweiler.de/StarStaX/StarStaX.html
7. Page 164
Stars and Milky Way, Apps: Star Walk, Heavens Above, PhotoPills
Long Exposure Calculator Apps: there are a number of free apps, as well as others for a fee.
8. Page 38
OLD: Currently, DSLRs and a few rangefinders are the smallest cameras with the ability to capture excellent images of the stars, but the advent of the first full-frame sensor, mirror-less cameras with fast lenses suggests that they will soon join the larger cameras in the night photography game”
NEW: Currently, DSLRs and a few rangefinders are the smallest cameras with the ability to capture excellent images of the stars, but the advent of the first full-frame sensor, some mirror-less cameras with fast lenses (delete suggests that they will soon join) have joined the DSLR cameras in the night photography game”.
Medium format cameras with CMOS sensors produce acceptable quality with a f/2.8 lens. The older models with CCD sensors do not work well because they produced excessive noise at high ISOs or do not go to a high enough ISO. For rangefinders, the Leica 40 is good for stars. For mirror less, the Sony A7S and A7II are good too.
8. Page 57
OLD: “The best months to see the bright center of the Milky Way are June, July,
NEW: The best months to see the bright center of the Milky Way are May, June, July, and August.
9. Page 166:
NEW: Image Stabilization: This reduces the vibration of the lens or camera to get sharper images at slower shutter speeds when hand-holding the camera, especially used with long focal length lenses. It is also called Vibration Reduction (VR), Optical Image Stabilizer or Stabilization (OS or OIS) (Tamron), Optical SteadyShot, SR (Shake Reduction), SSS (Super Steady Shot) or VC (Vibration Compensation), Mega OIS.
Image Stabilization is either lens based or camera based. Canon and most Nikon are lens based and Sony, Minolta, Pentax, Olympus and Nikon Zoom have camera based models. Most lenses or cameras do not do well with stabilization turned on when using a tripod or with long exposures (the exception being long lenses such as 500mm). Turn off for night photography. Some newer lenses claim it is ok to use it on a tripod as it detects it but I still don’t recommend it unless you test out your lens to find out if it causes any blurriness. This is because the lens/camera picks up on its own vibrations, causing more movement and a blurry image.
10. Add Flashlights:
I got a cheap off-brand tungsten flashlight when on the road. It died after the first use! Here are a few I now use but the options are endless.
Warm toned Household Flashlight. My main flashlight for painting trees and rocks.
Brinkmann Dual Rechargeable Halogen LED Spotlight (I have the previous model with Xennon light bulb but this one should work well. My second most used flashlight).
Brinkmann Q-Beam Max Million III Spotlight- For buildings and mountains.
Other options for typical household flashlight with warm light:
Brinkmann Krypton 2 D Cell Flashlight
Brinkmann MaxFire Small Flashlight, AAA Batteries
Dual Color LED Flashlight with Red and White Light
Petzl Tikka XP Headlamp (2014) for red and white light
11. Page 83 & 99
Add to Checklist:
Remove all filters: polarizer, solid and graduated neutral density and UV.
Check Out the Book
Photography Night Sky: A Field Guide for Shooting After Dark.