Creator of Lonely Speck
📍 Currently in Scotland 🏠 Home is California
⏬Learn how to photograph the Milky Way🌌✨📷
Shipping Day 1. Today is the first day of PureNight light pollution filter shipping! We have a big list of pre-orders to ship over the next few weeks but they're finally starting to go out! One big batch this week and an even bigger one in a couple weeks. Only a few pre-orders left at lonelyspeck.com/purenight.
I shot this one last spring from Trona Pinnacles, California. Today, I tried some new stacking and post-processing techniques with my old exposures. I think re-visiting old raw files is a great way to learn about your own personal taste, and capability to scrutinize your old techniques. It's satisfying to bring out more detail, color and quality to old photos. I hope to make a new video that reviews my latest, more refined workflow for wide field astrophotography and landscape astrophotography.
This is still my favorite section of sky... There is so much going on... all of the brilliant reds, blues, yellows, and links scattered across the sky tell a tale of great power, destruction and birth. It's now visible this time of year late after midnight as it rises above the horizon. Milky Way season is starting up again.
Sony a7S, Zeiss 55mm/1.8 @ f/3.2, 26*6s, ISO 3200
Geology Tour Road, Joshua Tree National Park
We are back in California for a bit and going through photos from a last minute trip to Joshua Tree to try out the Rokinon 20mm/1.8 and the first production copy of the PureNight Light Pollution Filter.
Joshua Tree NP is relatively light polluted because it's very close to Palm Springs. It makes for a lot of orange glow in the sky and shooting the faint nebula of Barnard's loop in Orion is particularly difficult. The PureNight did a good job at reducing the orange glow that was obscuring the pink nebulae in Orion. The Rokinon 20mm/1.8 did a good job as well. Review coming soon on lonelyspeck.com.
Milford Sound at Low Tide
We're waiting for our flight from Christchurch to Melbourne and looking back on our time here in New Zealand. Milford Sound was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. Diana (@northtosouthtravel) and I spent two nights here and enjoyed every minute of this surreal place. I have seen countless photos of Milford Sound and it was even grander and more spectacular than I imagined. Just the drive into the Fiordland National Park was jawdropping enough.
While night photography was always a huge priority for my time here, I spent a lot of time making daytime long exposures. I didn't bring an ND filter with me so I used a stacking of many exposures to capture ultra long daytime shots, my new preferred method versus using a 10-14 stop ND. Sony actually has a pretty cool app called 'Smooth Reflection' available on their cameras that makes the process automatic. You can set the number of exposures desired and it outputs a RAW stack using a mean filter. Easy.
Sony a7S, Zeiss Batis 18mm/2.8 @ f/11, 64*1/125, ISO 100
Mt. John Observatory, Tekapo, New Zealand. Wow! We had an amazing time with our guide @lastquarterphotography at the @earthandskynz tour of the observatory sitting above Tekapo. We got to look through some big scopes and even spent some time shooting wide fields with one of their equatorial mounts. We were super lucky to have perfectly clear skies on our only night in this amazing dark sky reserve. It was amazing to see a community so proud of their night sky. Even the local gas station had a selection of post cards featuring astrophotography from the area.
Diana (@northtosouthtravel) and I are finishing up our time here in New Zealand. We're flying to Melbourne tomorrow and will be there for a couple weeks!
Sony a7S, Batis 18mm/2.8 @ f/2.8, 12*20s, ISO 3200
Finally got to photograph "that tree". It's weird seeing a place like this in real life and finding out that it's basically nothing like the photographs seem to show.
I wanted to do the Milky Way thing with this shot but by the time I arrived during a short clearing in the sky, the galactic center had already set. I tried numerous compositions that night including wading out into the lake to try to get the Magellanic Clouds in the frame. I made countless panoramas and stacks while thigh deep in Lake Wanaka.
With soaking wet jeans, I started to leave at around 1:30am before realizing that Orion had started to rise to the east. I decided I wanted one last panorama shot from the shore before the clouds rolled back. I ended up liking this final shot more than all the others.
@northtosouthtravel and I are now in Queenstown! Heading south the Milford Sound on Friday!
Wed. Sept. 28, 1:30am, Sony a7S, Zeiss 55/1.8 @ f/2, 6s, ISO 3200, Panorama of 6 frames (3*2)
Processed using a preset from my upcoming Lightroom presets pack. More about it soon on lonelyspeck.com
Zodiacal Light at Stormy Point Lookout, North Island, New Zealand. Well finally! It's been rainy or cloudy every night so far but tonight we got a lucky bit of clear skies in the early evening while we were driving towards Wellington from Tongariro. We stopped at a totally random spot among the countless sheep farms along the New Zealand country roads. Ended up having a clear view of the sky in all directions.
Venus was bright on the horizon and that made for an excellent view of the bright Zodiacal Light stretching up from the horizon until it converged with the galactic center high in the sky.
The view of the Milky Way is absolutely spectacular from this side of the Earth. I can't wait for some more of this in the coming days.
Glad we stopped for this photo because the clouds rolled in shortly after our stop!
@northtosouthtravel and I are going to spend the rest of Thursday around Wellington until we take a night ferry to the South Island.
Sony a7S, Zeiss Batis 18mm/2.8 @ f/2.8, 15x15s Stack, ISO 12800
Rolling (slowly) down Highway 1 on North Island, New Zealand. Apparently I'm too much of a wimp for these roads. I got pulled over today for driving too slow! No ticket or anything but the policeman suggested I pull over more often to let the locals by... We're passing through the east side of Tongariro National Park. The weather has been pretty much all rain for our trip so far but it's been near the full moon so no worries. I really want to take some night photos... We're converging on Wellington to take the interisland ferry to the South Island soon.
Photo by @northtosouthtravel - Sony a7S, Batis 18mm/2.8 @ f/5.6, 1/100th, ISO 100
Diana (@northtosouthtravel) and I are staying in Auckland for a few nights before starting our New Zealand road trip!
This is the first international trip where we've packed the #dynamicperception timelapse rig. I hope to get some good footage of New Zealand while we're here.
This trip, we packed the #sonyalpha a7S, Batis 18/2.8, Zeiss 55/1.8 and finally the RX100III as the backup.
Shot on @oneplustech OnePlus 2, f/2, 2 sec, ISO 3200