I was chatting with my friend Lindsey the other day, chatting about photography whilst hanging of some ice axes in the pouring rain at one of the local dry tooling venues. Its a funny discipline, dry tooling, using ice axes on the rock with rock shoes on your feet climbing very steep walls. Its an awesome workout and with it being so steep it can be done in the rain!
Lindsey is one of these professional photographer types, luckily she is happy to help out with my insesante questions on my mission to get better! I was describing to her the problems I was having with taking night time shots and the amount of image noise I seem to encounter. Noise is the grainy effect you see sometimes on low light level photography's. I shoot with a Mircro Four Thirds camera which is basically a mirrorless DSLR. Being mirrorless it is compact and relatively light. This makes it great a great camera to take into the mountains and still get super shots. It is amazing for super bright, colorful images but having a smaller sensor it struggles in very low light conditions. Because of that it requires the ISO to be bumped up to make the image possible. When shooting photographs with film you choose the ISO or speed of the film, this is basically the size of the light sensitive particals on the film, the bigger the particals the less light is needed to expose the image. The same works in digital. Lindsey lent me one of her professional full frame cameras to use and see if it was easier to take night shots without so much noise.
I was Impressed. Having a full frame camera meant that I could use faster shutter speeds to get less movement of the stars. This instantly makes for clearer images, the camera also allows the ISO to be bumped up with less noise on the images and therefore less editing afterwards.
I also had my first go at creating a Milkyway time lapse. It needs a bit of work but looks pretty funky i think.
Now all I need to complete the puzzle of taking super sharp night shots is a gizmo that moves with earths rotation keeping the stars in a fixed position while the shot is taken...