I wasn’t satisfied with the previous nights attempt and since it was now Friday I wanted to try again. I was really after stars in a photograph and to learn more about my camera and night-time photography.
This time I chose my 35mm prime lens. I wanted some city type shots with stars overhead. I also wanted to get the “Big Dipper” and try some different things with aperture, ISO and shutter speeds to see how the images were affected.
Again I setup my tripod, camera and tablet and let loose with finger tapping on the tablet screen. While it was a lot darker than the night before the connected tablet let me do previews of what it would take. This gave me the opportunity to do some composing for the shot, before the shot. Which ultimately is actually just taking a picture, view the results and then deciding if it was good enough before taking a picture to keep.
I’m curious also about the program I’m using to edit images – DXO OpticsPro 10. OpticsPro 10 has a high noise reduction option which DXO claims to be the best. Since I shoot RAW & Fine JPG combined I’m going to compare Nikon’s D90 JPG image processing with the results of the RAW processed images to how DXO and Nikon look side by side.
First up is a set of images that show the effect aperture has on the image with this particular lens. These images are all straight from the camera using Nikon’s built-in jpg image processing.
While its pretty clear that the aperture lets more light in the image suffers because the lens isn’t designed for optimal focusing at F4. F8 gave a better result for sharpness in the stars but at ISO 400 it was pretty dark. Boosting the ISO to 640 helped show more star light.
Next lets take a look at DXO’s processing of the RAW images. Using DXO’s Night preset (I didn’t alter anything.)
OK, I think DXO wins. It seems the worst image clearer after DXO processed the RAW. I like what the presets did for the rest of the images too.
The remaining images are in my Flickr share here http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwgagel except for this one. I’m including it here just because it caught a satellite passing. The image is pretty bad but it does demonstrate what happens when you’re focusing on technology instead of trying to pay attention to your surroundings.
Satellite (passing lower right)