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Show and Tell – Railcar Milky Way

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Show and Tell by jfischer1 Comment

When a good friend on Instagram messaged me about a group planning a trip to Galveston for an all-out blitz of a weekend with little sleep, little in the way of plans other than astrophotography and the beach, I wasn’t about to pass up the invite. What I didn’t plan on was hitting north Houston traffic at 5pm on a Friday afternoon. Needless to say, by the time I crossed over the bridge onto Galveston Island, I needed a beer more than I needed to shoot a marginally interesting sunset. …

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Astrophotography Lenses – Beyond the f-number

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Tips and tricks by jfischer3 Comments

Just getting started in Astrophotography?  Please check out my introductory article, ‘Astrophography – Seeing the Light in the Darkest Places’ first before you dive in here.  It’s been recently updated for 2017! Astrophotography is a wonderful, and at the moment wildly popular, style of photography. From the peace that comes from sitting in the still darkness taking in the sights of the night sky, to the wonder of seeing far more than the eye can behold light up the back side of your camera’s screen after each click – there …

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Star Trails – Astrophotography in Motion

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Tutorials by jfischer1 Comment

Photography, as they say, is about capturing a moment in time. Some moments are a fraction of a second, like a batter swinging for the fences, or a Kingfisher as it dives for its breakfast. Other moments might capture a full second of time, such as a waterfall flowing over Niagara Falls. Some moments are longer yet, such as letting light flow through the camera long enough to capture eddies in a river, or soften a raging surf into a misty fog. When you start dragging out the length of …

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Astrophotography – Seeing the Light in the Darkest Places

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Tutorials by jfischer2 Comments

I remember vividly the wonder, and the frustration, in trying to capture my first astrophotography photographs.  I was standing on the edge of the road in the middle of Yellowstone National Park, taking in the arch of the milky way as it reached overhead.  It was one of the first times in my adult life, or ever that I could recall, that I was able to see the band of stars that make up our galaxy from the general star field stretching across the sky.  The problem was, I knew …

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Star Trail Stacking in Photoshop CC – the fast way

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Post-Processing, Tips and tricks by jfischer2 Comments

For the first year after I started working with Star Trail photography, I’ve used StarStax to blend my individual frames together into the trail photo.  Unfortunately, StarStax has some limitations, and I have suspected that the resulting star trail image wasn’t as high of quality as the input images.  So I started researching other options, including stacking manually in Photoshop.  The root of the idea is to set each of your layers above the bottom layer to blending mode = ‘lighten’ – so the bright starts shine through on each subsequent …

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Show & Tell: Star Trails at Tyler State Park

In Astrophotography, Learning Center, Show and Tell, Texas State Parks by jfischer4 Comments

An usually warm end of January, even by Texas standards, presented me with a unique opportunity in 2016. With clear skies in the forecast a chance to get an early start to both my camping season and astrophotography year was too good to pass up. On a previous trip I had scouted a location along the shore of Tyler State Park which I felt had potential for a star trail sequence, so the race was on to get a camp site as close to the shoot location as possible.  With …