Sooo long time…

It has been over half a year since our last post..what the heck?! Yes, we have had a lot on our hands, but still…nine months is a looong time. Let me try to redeem that…

I spent the last two months in Alabama in the city of Birmingham. For a last weekend, we went south to a friend’s house at the Dauphin Island. Second night there, I went to the balcony at around midnight and saw the sky was clear, it was new moon and lots of stars were clearly visible. I just couldn’t resist.

It took me almost two hours to find a good setup of the scene. By that time, clouds started to roll in, so the sky was not as clear as it might have been, but I think the result is definatelly worth it.

Right now, I’m staying in New Jersey and going to Manhattan daily and I have gotten a couple more good images…if I’m in a good mood tomorrow, I might even share some more πŸ˜€

Stanley

Oh and by the way, in about a week or so, we will be slightly updating the blog name πŸ˜‰

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Night in Austria

Heya there,

the photo is from Austria in february. And I know, IΒ΄m horrible person, itΒ΄s autumn and IΒ΄m posting photos from winter πŸ˜€

Jana

6

Stop!

Hello everyone,

I’m back with new photos. This one was taken a few weeks ago in Ralsko, Czech Republic. We are at this place one week every year and we spend our time in forest without electricity or mobile signal. It’s a great place for relax after school and our duties.

This photo was taken during our Pyjama party. Hope you like it.

Jana

07_01

Light Pollution

Hi!

I have so much going on I have been neglecting the blog lately. I’ve taken loads of new shots, but haven’t had time to process them yet and those already done require some sort of story to go with ;).

My last shared post was the milky way with a lone tree in the foreground. Taking and processing that photo opened a whole new perspective for me. I uncovered the enormous potential of the camera to see what our eyes don’t and what’s more, it pushed me towards learning something new! So about two weeks ago, it was a night just before new moon and I decided to go out at about 11 PM and take some more shots of the night sky. But this time, I had an awesome challenge at hand. I was in no mood for driving and so I just searched for a suitable location in the city. I had a good idea about where to go. This place was at the outskirts of the city and nicely shaded by trees from nearby brewery and by a low hill from the nearest houses. From time to time, a car passed by, so I had to shade the lens for a while, but otherwise OK. The night was clear, with just a little clouds, only to add thexture here and there.

If you have ever tried to photograph stars, you might have read, that you need a place with no or just little ambient light. Cities and the surroundings are generally bad areas. So I decided to beat the myth! With the right equipment, you can photograph in quite extreme conditions, just as the photo below proves. Shot with Sony NEX 6 with Samyang 12 mm f/2.0 with aperture wide open, ISO 800 and 20s exposure. The glow behind the horizon are street lights from nearby (well-illuminated) urban settlement. You can see, that despite that, the milky way is nicely visible. Yes, you have to shoot in RAW and spend some time editing. In this case, the new wavelets tools of RawTherapee came in handy. Used properly, these things can effectively kill noise and ennhance contrast as needed and therefore bring out milky way nicely. The process wouldn’t of course be complete without the help of Wilber ;). Nothing fancy, just duplicating the image exported from RT and using overlay and multiply on the correct places through the mask. I think the result is quite pleasing…tell me what you think πŸ˜‰

Have an awesome day!

Stanley

Oh, and there’s more coming soon πŸ˜‰

40-Under_the_stars

Solitaire and the Galaxy

Heya!

We’ve gone through another short era of inactivity. But we have shot tons of new photos so there should be quite a surplus in the upcoming days/weeks ;).

After quite a while, I’ve finally gotten the chance to test the full potential of my first non-kit lens, the Samyang 12 mm f/2.0 NCS CS. I bought this lens after reading a rather inspiring article about astrophotography somewhere in the depths of the internet. That being said, you can expect heap a nighttime photos in the days to come! I’ve used this lens so far for interior shots, some architecture and a couple of landscapes, but none of that competes with nightscapes with this thing!

And now to the photo below. I usually don’t share much EXIF data (mainly because GIMP has rather hard time keeping them in the file :D), but this one deserves it. The lens has superb results even wide open, so this was shot at F/2.0, somewhere between 15 and 25 seconds exposure and ISO of just 800! I still had to deal a lot with the moonlight filling the sky (it was about two days past the full moon), so the noise creeped in anyway, but thanks to the team developing RawTherapee, the wavelets tool killed the noise quite nicely. Anyway, here is the result. I believe I will be driven to writing a short review for this lens soon, as it deserves it!

Also, I recommend viewing the photo in full resolution HERE (remember we only upload photos in reduced resolution to save the space ;).

Have a great day

Stanley

40-Solitaire_and_the_galaxy

Rotten to the Core

Oh hi!

Has this ever happened to you? “It’s a deep night, somewhere in the middle of the forest, no light around apart from the moon and stars. And suddenly, you see a light source on the ground. You move closer ot examine it and find out it’s a decomposing bit of wood!”

That’s pretty much to gist of what happened to us. So I got asked If I was able to photograph a light source this weak (let’s face it…it’s barely visible unless it’s pitch dark). I took my 12 mm f/2.0 lens and what do you know…it worked! I had to keep the exposures pretty long, but I didn’t care…the shots were worth it. I then took out a speedlite in hope to capture a bit of a background with the glowing wood too. I have used the weakest output possible and bounced it off the other wall of the shed and it created the overal fill pretty nicely…but I’d still like it even weaker. I then had to rely on a long exposure to make the glow strong enough to have something to work with in PP. (TBH, in reality, the colour wasn’t so pronounced, but this is still dialed down from what the camera captured – that was crazy radioactive green!)

Stanley

39-Glowood

 

Something in the Night

Hello everyone!

After two weeks I decided it’s time for another photography πŸ™‚ I realized I’ve forgoten about blog, so I’m sorry about that. I hope it’ll be better after my school exams and bachelor workare done. Anyway, this building was several times in our posts, it’s Liberec town hall. I took photo by the way from Good Tea Room. That blue light: I don’t know what it is, but it’s probably something from disco somewhere Β in the city. Stanley didn’t like this light in picture, but I think it’s changing the view on city hall.

Hope you like it

Jana

 

04_01

Betula Nighttime & 12 mm Samyang

Heya!

A couple weeks ago I bought a Samyang 12 mm f/2.0 lens. On my nex, it has a viewing angle of about 100Β° the lightness is just awesome! Many people say it’s a great lens for starry skies and milky way photography, but I haven’t yet had the chance to do that. Being the first prime I ever got, it’s quite unfamiliar to me. I was used to filling the frame pretty easily with my 18-55 kit lens, but it’s pretty darn hard with this baby! It’s just not made to be an all-round lens. But that’s OK. At 12 mm, none can expect the lens to be universal. What I like is the closeup photos of objects, where it really brings a dramaticity into the shot (sample below πŸ˜‰ ). The low light performance is just incredible. I really can’t wait to try it on the starry sky in a low light-polluted area. But don’t think I just let it lie around the house…I’ve already taken some night shots with it and here is one of them. It’s cropped, so it doesn’t really show the full wide angle potential, but the picture below I believe shows it…and it has a nice effect to it too πŸ˜€

Have a great day!

Stanley

12-betula_nighttime

Shot at night. The white background is a cloudy cover over the city, illuminated by it’s lights – hence the yellow tint.

Uncropped image illustrating the wide angle of the lens. I guess it would be better compared to a shot with default kit lens, but that will be a part of the upcoming detailed review.

Uncropped image illustrating the wide angle of the lens. I guess it would be better compared to a shot with default kit lens, but that will be a part of the upcoming detailed review.

_DSC0852

A long exposure with the lens and static foreground. Only slightly cropped and about f/4. The moon was very bright that night (I think it was full moon!), but by the time I finally got out, a huge cloud came over the city and stayed there for about two days πŸ˜€

The lens has a minimal focusing distance of 20 centimetres. This really comes handy for closeups, where the object is really drawn into attention. Aperture wide open at f/2.

The lens has a minimal focusing distance of 20 centimetres. This really comes handy for closeups, where the object is really drawn into attention. Aperture wide open at f/2.