MaxKostiuk-Warren
MaxKostiuk-Warren

Island Bay by Night



***Click for a sharper view*** Looking up to the milky-way just after 4am over Taputeranga Island. Taken from Island Bay Beach, Wellington. NZ.
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***Click for a sharper view*** Looking up to the milky-way just after 4am over Taputeranga Island. Taken from Island Bay Beach, Wellington. NZ.
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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken looking south-east towards Taputeranga Island from Island Bay Beach in Wellington, New Zealand.
Time
I woke up at 4am and then cycled around 15km to get to the bay. I had been waiting for the weather conditions to be perfect (moon phases, wind, clouds, sunrise time, etc etc) for a couple of months to go on a very early morning expedition to the coast to do star shots.
Lighting
It was a very dark morning and I actually couldn't even see the island with the naked eye, although I knew it was there and which direction to shoot at. The island and rocks were lit up in the shot by the street lights which run alongside the bay. The light pollution coming in from the left in the sky is from Wellington City.
Equipment
This was shot with the Nikon D5200, the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens, a Nikon wireless shutter release and a Manfrotto 190XPRO4 tripod with a pan/tilt head which I had just recently purchased.
Inspiration
I've always loved taking star shots, they never fail to impress and I always liked this stretch of coast and always cycle around these bays. I had taken star shots before in the evening but at that time the milky-way always appears to be vertical so I wanted to come at a time which it would be at more of an angle, this meant either staying up really late or waking up really early. I stayed taking shots around the bays until the sun came up.
Editing
This image needed a LOT of post-processing, not so much to alter the image itself but because the final image is made up from 24 individual RAW images stitched together manually in Photoshop CS5. This is because of the 35mm lens I had to do 6 images panning across the image and then 3 more rows (of 6) panning upwards. I've always wanted to get a really wide angle lens with a large aperture to capture images like this in one or two shots but haven't been able to afford one yet. I just have to try make the most of the equipment I have and can afford. Apart from the image stitching I didn't do too much apart from the usual colour correction and noise/sharpness adjustments with Photoshop/Cam Raw and then Lightroom 4.0 to the final stitched image.
In my camera bag
I usually like to go out on my bike first off and then (for night shots specifically) I will take my Nikon D5200 along with my old compact Panasonic TZ10 camera (just in case) and often my GoPro Hero 3: Black Edition in case any opportunities arise to take some time lapse sequences. Along with that I'll have my new Manfrotto 190XPRO4 tripod with a pan/tilt head. Then I have a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens, the standard Nikkor 18-55mm VRII lens, and a Nikkor 55-300mm VRII lens and Nikon wireless shutter release remote. I will always take along a drink bottle and usually some food.
Feedback
To start of doing star shots it's important to start small and don't buy expensive equipment until you know you're going to like doing it. If you are looking at buying a lens for taking star shots it's important to get one with as large an aperture as you can afford and it helps to have a wider angle lens unless you want to be stitching a lot of images together.

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