fire and ice

Every time I see photographs of the night sky, I have wanted to try it, or at least see a night sky filled with stars, maybe the Milky Way.  So when I arrived for sunrise a little too early, and saw the sky, I had to try a few shots.  If you read about doing this, they make it sound pretty simple - tripod, high ISO, wide open aperture, exposures of 30 seconds or so (anything longer and you begin to get star trails rather than pinpoints of light).  It's not so simple - you can't see to compose or focus.  And at least with my experiments this weekend, 30 seconds was too long, the stars were leaving small trails.  The most significant problem, however, is the noise (this was shot at 3200 ISO) - that might be a problem of my camera.  But trying to minimize the noise in post-processing was a tricky balancing act of eliminating noise without losing too much detail in the stars.  And then there is the problem of light pollution for many locations here on the East Coast - in this case, the light pollution adding a little something.

I have much to learn still - and I will keep at it.  Besides, being out there and simply seeing the night sky like that was its own reward.