Stephen Bay's Photography Blog

Basics of Milky Way Photography Video

Get a free video download where I go over the basics of photographing the Milky Way. You’ll learn everything you need to get started including: What camera gear do I need? How do I plan a Milky Way shoot? How do I take photos in the field? How do I post-process my images? The video is over 1 1⁄2 hours long and is jam packed with information. Click here to register for the download

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How Many Images Should I Stack for Noise Reduction (in Starry Landscape Stacker or Sequator)?

With programs like Starry Landscape Stacker or Sequator image stacking for noise reduction has become very easy to do. The one question I get is how many images should i stack? This question can actually be answered analytically with math. If you recall your stats class, the variance of the sum of n variables is the sum of their covariances. Therefore… Ok just kidding. I won’t go into the math. But if you want to dig further look at the Wikipedia article on variance and assume that the photons have a Poisson distribution.

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Comet C/2020 F3 Neowise From the Heart of San Diego

For some reason I like taking photos of astro subjects from the middle of the San Diego. Usually this results in a lot of pain because the objects are so dim and the light pollution from the city tends to wash everything out. To some extent, one can bring out these subjects with post-processing but there is a limit because the data (and information contained in the data) simply isn’t there.

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Equipment for Tracked Panoramas of the Night Sky

Probably the most technically difficult shot to achieve in landscape astrophotography is a tracked panorama. But if you can successfully pull it off, it will yield the ultimate in image quality. I’ve done a few when conditions allowed (i.e. I had extra time for setup and I was able to carry of all the required gear) and thought I would share my equipment setup:

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Where to Photograph the Milky Way Around San Diego

As a night sky photographer, when I’m looking for locations to photograph, I pay close attention to the amount of light pollution in the skies. The stray light from building and roads in nearby urban areas can easily wash out the stars and make it hard to get clean images of the Milky Way. For example, look at the following two pictures taken with the exact same lens and camera:

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