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Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Under the Stars (Oly 8mm/1.8, 17mm/1.8)

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by faithblinded, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. faithblinded

    faithblinded Mu-43 Top Veteran

    929
    Nov 25, 2014
    Cleveland, OH
    Ken
    I have had some star trail shots in mind for some time now, but I've never been that happy with my 7-14/4 in the dark. I recently picked up a refurbed copy of the Oly fisheye, so I went out on the first moonless, cloudless night since I got it, and tried for two shots I've wanted to do for a while. I even picked up a couple bonus shots along the way, like this one, of rocks in the water beneath the bridge.
    P9240008-X2.jpg
    E-M1 + 17mm/1.8
    The first subject I had in mind is a well known landmark in the park: the Everett Road Covered Bridge. It no longer serves as part of the road system, but is now integrated into the trails of the park, and is host to several unique events throughout the year. It's a cool subject, popular with local photographers, to the point that I rarely shoot it. I've always though it would make a cool bit of foreground to a star shot. So I went out with my headlamp and rubber boots, and got into the middle of the stream.
    K9240227-Edit-2-X2.jpg
    E-M5ii + 8mm/1.8
    Sadly there is a streetlamp I never noticed during the day, right off the left edge of my frame. I did a little photoshop acrobatics to kill most of it's orange intrusion. I did a little light painting here and there, as the shadows were deep. This was my first ever use of light painting, and I used it on every shot in this post. I think I managed pretty well for my first attempts.
    K9240233-X2.jpg
    E-M5ii + 8mm/1.8
    I moved back to get a wider view, and more stars. I also was able to create a nice reflection with my light painting. While this shot ticked away for 20 minutes, I walked back to my Jeep(not far), grabbed my 2nd tripod, and returned, to set up the first image of the rocks. They were right behind where I stood to shoot the reflected bridge. I had never been down there, so it was a total unexpected bonus, and with time to kill waiting for stars to trail, it was perfect.
    K9250238-X2.jpg
    E-M5ii + 8mm/1.8
    This is a shot I've been thinking of for a couple years now. I want to do it again when there is heavier flow, but this is a good start. This falls is rather surrounded by trees, so only the fisheye would do to capture a wide enough view, to get the impression of the earth's rotation from the stars. The light painting here was challenging. It took me several tries to get it right. I did my star trail shots separate from the light painted shots, and combined them in post. That way, I could get the painting just how I wanted it, or as best I could looking at the lcd.
    K9250243-X2.jpg
    While I sat listening to the song of the falls in the dark of night, I realized my path home could take me by another favorite subject of mine: this barn. This view hit me immediately as the one to use. I never shoot it from this angle during the day, but this really was pleasing at night. Funny how that works. I always thought you could plan nightscapes during the day. I grow less sure all the time. The rocks in the first image of this post probably present a rather dull view during the day, but they were obviously special when seen at night. One thing is certain, I want to do alot more nightscapes, now that I have this fast fisheye. What a little cracker it is! Loving it.
     
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  2. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Great shots and first use of the fisheye (I know you went to the market with it first), guess I should say first use for astro. I really like the farther shot of the bridge and the last one. You should try to put the point of the barn right at the north star if possible (not sure how much room you have to work with).
     
  3. faithblinded

    faithblinded Mu-43 Top Veteran

    929
    Nov 25, 2014
    Cleveland, OH
    Ken
    Thanks man! Great idea about the barn and the north star. It might alter my composition in a way I don't like, but I'm going to go back and take a look the next clear night. I wasn't really thinking about or sure of how the stars were going to line up until they started trailing. I just tried for the most pleasing composition. It's an odd spot this barn is in, with limited good angles.
     
  4. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I wasn't sure what the surrounding area is like. If you can't get the right position for the peak you could maybe work out something with the tree branches, may take a few test shots to get it all lined up perfectly. You could also haul a chainsaw out there and chop down a few trees so you can get the perfect position. Also be a good chance to test out the Jeep's ability to pull trees over if you are worried about attracting attention with the chainsaw.
     
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