NASA photographer Lauren Harnett captured this photograph of the International Space Station passing in front of the moon. What’s amazing is that it didn’t require any fancy astronomy equipment — Harnett was shooting from a parking lot using a Nikon D3S, 600mm lens, 2x teleconverter, heavy duty tripod and sandbag, and a remote shutter release. She shot at 1/1600, f/8, and ISO 2500 in burst mode, and then combined the resulting photographs into this one image.
For his project titled “Unrealistic Scenes“, photographer Nathan Spotts composited his own landscape photographs with digital artwork of planets floating in the starry night sky.
I’ve always been captivated by the beauty of our world, and often dream of the things that lay just beyond what we can see. I wanted to create images of scenes that are not-quite real, but that almost could be.
Ken Murphy has completed his ambitious “A History of the Sky” project, which we first got a glimpse of in March of last year. Wanting to reveal the patterns of light and weather over the course of a year, Murphy installed a still camera on the roof of the Exploratorium in San Francisco, pointed at the sky and snapping a photo every 10 seconds around the clock.
After a year had passed, Murphy made this time-lapse mosaic, with each box — arranged chronologically — showing the time-lapse of a single day. They’re all synchronized by time-of-day, and provide an interesting way of looking how sunrises, sunsets, and weather change over the course of a year.
Photographer Yasuaki Segawa captured this incredible photograph of the Milky Way rising above the ocean, as seen from Taketomi Island, Japan. In addition to the uber-sharp stars, reflections of two bright stars can be seen in the waters. Segawa used a Canon 5D Mark II with a 24mm f/1.4 lens, and composited 5 separate photos to make this image (allowing him to expose the sky and the foreground separately). He also compensated for star rotation to sharpen the sky and prevent star trails. A higher-res version can be found here.
You’ve seen photos of star trails, and time-lapse videos of stars, but how about a combination of the two? Olivier Martel created this beautiful 18-second video using a technique we’ve never seen before: stacking star trail photos into a time-lapse video showing the trails forming.
After capturing roughly 500 photos (25s, f/3.5, ISO1600) from midnight to 5am in Quebec, Canada, he used a popular star trail stacking program called Starstax. In addition to stacking all the images into one, he had the program save the intermediate images at each step. He then turned those images into the stunning video seen above. The finished (and fully stacked) image can be seen here.
Photographer Lincoln Harrison captures jaw-dropping photographs of star trails. Shooting from the Australian outback, he spends up to 15 hours creating each image of the night sky. Shooting with a Nikon D7000, Nikon D3100, and a wide assortment of lenses, Harrison captures a large number of exposures of the foreground and stars separately. He then combines the images (sometimes hundreds of them) into amazing photographs showing the sky dominated by colorful star trails. Read more…
Photographer Jay P. Morgan made this informative walkthrough showing how he shot a photograph that combines artificial light with the evening sky:
[...] its a simple street light or a full on city scape this process works. We shot a scene for Pilot Freight Services using this method and got great results. We shot our background plate of the bridge and city lights and combined it with a shot done later of the truck.
It’s not exactly a project you can do by yourself, but the concepts he explain can be applied to your nighttime photography.
Night photographer Ben Canales made this image by stacking together roughly 50 different exposures in order to show all of the star trails across the sky. Regarding the color seen in the stars, Canales writes,
The different colors of the star streaks are from the “temperature” of light that the stars burn at. Just like a candle gives and orange light, and a gas stove burns blue- the stars in our sky shine all different sorts of colored light.
A while back, we featured a video tutorial by Canales on how to photograph the night sky. Give that video a look, find a still lake on a clear night, and you can make one of these photographs yourself!
Want a challenging photography project? Try capturing an analemma in a single shot. “Analemma” is the name given to the figure-eight shape traced by the sun if photographed at the same time of day over the course of a year. To capture it, you’ll need to leave your camera in a fixed position and shoot photos at exactly the same time of day for all of the shots. Read more…
On September 2nd, a woman in Northern California named Debbie Payne heard a loud crash and, upon investigating, found a smashed Canon 24-105mm lens on the ground and a gaping 9-inch hole in her roof. Now the police department in Petaluma is trying to figure out how the lens apparently fell from the sky. Read more…