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Old 07-10-2018, 04:33 PM   #1
bmike-vt
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Lake Lila under the Stars

Wonderful overnight at Lake Lila to watch the stars. I had some client work in Saranac / Lake Placid / Tupper on Friday, so I planned to spend some time at Lila.

I was traveling lite, no canoe, no camping gear - just some snacks, camera gear, too few layers, camp chair and my summer weight sleeping bag. I walked in around 6pm, looking for a spot on the northern shore to setup for an evening of star gazing. I scouted a few spots, hoping to find campsite 5 from the road, and ended up at the western edge of the lake. I found a great beach, but as I climbed out of the woods there were some folks setting up having arrived by canoe a few minutes before me. I backtracked on the road and eventually got a glimpse of lovely beach through the trees and bushwhacked to the water, stumbling right into 5.

I staked out the site and beach, and then setup my camera, chair and tarp.

Lake Lila iPhone snaps by Mike, on Flickr

Snacks, and then the waiting game began.

Lake Lila iPhone snaps by Mike, on Flickr

Quiet:

Still, Lake Lila by Mike, on Flickr

Pastel:

Pastel, Lake Lila by Mike, on Flickr

Twilight:

Twilight, Stars by Mike, on Flickr

The bugs were intense. I wrapped myself in my summer bag and all the layers I had. It sounded like there were hundreds of people in the woods running window fans. Eventually it cooled enough that the bugs subsided, the bats stopped flitting about, and I was left with the sky, quiet, and a bit cold.



Test Shot, waiting for the Earth to rotate a bit more:

Lake Lila Milky Way (test shot) by Mike, on Flickr

Milky Way:

Milky Way, Lake Lila (v1) by Mike, on Flickr


I have another set of sky images that I'm processing of the Milky Way. Lots of learning... I packed up at about 2:30, walked back to the car, took a nap in the hatchback, and made it back to Vermont for breakfast. A good couple of days.

When I was at Tupper I photographed one of my clients projects, the new bandstand (unfinished):

Timber Frame, Star Trails (cool edit) by Mike, on Flickr
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:45 PM   #2
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These photos are stunning! Thank you so much for sharing....
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:41 PM   #3
SteveSam
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Beautiful pictures! Thanks for posting.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:20 PM   #4
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That Milky Way shot is incredible...I always try for something like that but never come close.
Wanna share what ISO, lens opening and shutter speed?
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:56 PM   #5
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Amazing photos, thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:14 PM   #6
bmike-vt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
That Milky Way shot is incredible...I always try for something like that but never come close.
Wanna share what ISO, lens opening and shutter speed?
Thank you!

Iíve done single shot MW like this one in VT:



That one is with a manual Rokinon 12mm lens, likely f/2 (no electronics in the lens to pass data to camera) ISO 1600 15s exposure. Depending on your camera and lens you will get star trailing pretty quickly, so exposures need to be short.

But, the Lila shots are more complicated. My camera (little canon mirror less) was riding on a little tracker that rotates the same speed as the stars. You align it to Polaris and if you get it right you can do a 1-2-3-4 minute exposure without trailing. For this shot (just processed tonight - using a 22mm lens I made 2) 2 minute exposures f2.8 ISO 800 for 12 different camera positions (to make a mosaic, or panorama). Once home I stacked the 2 on top of each other in a program that uses an algorithm to knock out the noise. Then I had 12 images (4 overlapping rows, 3 overlapping columns) - I used panorama software to stitch the combined images together. Once stitched I processed in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Last edited by bmike-vt; 07-11-2018 at 04:05 PM..
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:17 PM   #7
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Amazing photos, thanks for sharing.
Thank you everyone! Been a learning journey for me.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:36 AM   #8
JohnnyVirgil
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and no satellite or airplane trails! Nice.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:05 PM   #9
bmike-vt
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and no satellite or airplane trails! Nice.
There were a few... but in the previous image I stacked them to remove noise - so when the software compares pixels - if the 2 images don't match it sometimes tossed plane / satellite data.

On the timber frame / star trails shot I masked them out.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:06 PM   #10
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Here is an updated, reprocessed shot. This is 12 images stitched in panorama software to create the MW.

Milky Way, Lake Lila (v3) Vertical Crop by Mike, on Flickr
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Old Today, 10:53 AM   #11
EagleCrag
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Your photos are spectacular. Unbelievably beautiful.
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Old Today, 11:50 AM   #12
bmike-vt
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Your photos are spectacular. Unbelievably beautiful.
Thank you!
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Old Today, 11:53 AM   #13
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Here is a slightly different version - this one is a bit more complicated - in this version I stacked 2 shots for each camera position and used software to compare each pixel and reduce noise. Then I stitched those into a panorama, and because I used a device that follows the stars when shooting long exposures I composited a separate shot of the foreground. I'm not thrilled with the star reflections - but I'm learning alot as I go...

Milky Way, Lake Lila (v1, track, stack, stitch) Vertical Crop by Mike, on Flickr
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