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Our Universe



Just a night on Driftwood Beach Jekyll Island Ga., Our Universe above and fishermen in the water while watching from the high tide path during low tide. It is d...
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Just a night on Driftwood Beach Jekyll Island Ga., Our Universe above and fishermen in the water while watching from the high tide path during low tide. It is dark as pitch, hot and humid (July) and sweating like I am in a shower. To my right you hear what sounds like a gator chomping down on a bird or whatever to my left is a family kids and all night fishing in the surf at low tide and lighting flashing from a storm over St. Simons Island Ga.
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9 Comments | Report
krsreddy158
 
krsreddy158 May 16, 2016
Simply WOW! Extraordinary work.
auxgen4 PRO+
auxgen4 May 16, 2016
Thank You, Really just play- nature does the work and everything changes every night like dice in a cup!
kezza7
 
kezza7 May 16, 2016
Love it
auxgen4 PRO+
auxgen4 May 16, 2016
Thank You, This night was my first attempt at night capture in total darkness and nature kept storm clouds inland for three nights, it was meant to be captured by someone that night!
haiderlftah
 
haiderlftah May 16, 2016
Join the conversation. Add a comment or even better, a critique. Let's get better together!
marcodiclemente
 
marcodiclemente May 16, 2016
Beautiful Colors!
auxgen4 PRO+
auxgen4 May 16, 2016
Thank You Marcodi, Camera AWB
ChrisHPhotos
 
ChrisHPhotos May 16, 2016
Lovely mood and colour, well captured.
auxgen4 PRO+
auxgen4 May 16, 2016
Thank You Chris, Really was trying to find a spot to hide the fishermen and their headlamps, he turned it on during the exposure!
Emartinezfotos
 
Emartinezfotos May 16, 2016
one of my favorite places on the planet.
It's one of the best kept secrets on the east coast, and you've done an amazing job at capturing it. Well done.
auxgen4 PRO+
auxgen4 May 16, 2016
Thank You! Hope to do a walkabout with you sometime and share locations. Day or Night is the cameras delite there.
nathanboepple
 
nathanboepple May 16, 2016
Damn dude, i dig the variety of colors
auxgen4 PRO+
auxgen4 May 16, 2016
Thank You Nathan, The unseen colorful light is that of AWB and not shooting tungsten like those with dark skies with no color to start with.
yvonnegblaseymims PRO+
 
yvonnegblaseymims May 16, 2016
Wow is all I can think off.... One day in another life I will be able to do such extraordinary work as well
auxgen4 PRO+
auxgen4 May 16, 2016
Thank You Yvonne, I looked at your playing and you have the eye, imagination and a great camera and the gift of some gulf coast dark sky. f/wide open, ISO 6400, SS 500/mmx1.6 point south on a clear night 2 days before or 12 days after a new moon, play with the captures in lightroom to get that dream to hang on your wall, I'll be looking!!!
JasonTrikes
 
JasonTrikes May 16, 2016
Wow!
auxgen4 PRO+
auxgen4 May 16, 2016
Thank You Jason, Dreams do come true!

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Behind The Lens

Location
Jekyll Island State Park Georgia on the ocean side on the 5th most romantic beach "Driftwood Beach". It is a 100 miles from where I live an hour and a half drive.
Time
Late evening at 11:32 PM an hour after Blue Hour 10:08 PM.
Lighting
After getting my night vision I could see that the light from St. Simons Island at my back to the north was being reflected off low clouds that where being pushed ashore by the sea breeze. This allows not having to "Light Up" the Deadwood Trees on the beach but to use the available light and use a lower ISO of 6400 and normal exposure time of 30 seconds.
Equipment
I used the Sony A7s with the SEL1635Z @16mm and f/4 on a Manfrotto 190L with a 3 way head. I used tennis balls on the tripod feet so it would not sink in the sand and to keep saltwater off of it. I use a photographers vest instead of back pack to store my lenses and any needed supplies like the Sony RM-VPR1 for wired shutter release or Vello Shutter Boss II RC-S211 for longer than 30 second captures or the Sony RMT-DSLRR2 for a wireless shutter release and lens cleaning supplies, a camera raincoat/saran wrap (to keep salt air off the camera), Skin-So-Soft little spray bottle for insects repellent, two small flash lights (900 lumens), three head lamps with red or green filters (there is a path that goes thru a swampy area with Gators/snakes that is the entrance). Also wear waterproof Snake boots, along with Wasp/Hornet spray for the gators (yes there have been reports of rattle snakes in the surf) it is a very dark place and until you get your night vision and hour or so after being on the beach you do not need any surprises.
Inspiration
In June of 2015's new moon I discovered I could capture the Milky Way on a local beach after studying PhotoPills app web site and articles on how to find and track the Milky Way, Just have to look south. In previous years I had only captured sunrises on Driftwood Beach but wondered now if it would be dark sky enough for Milky Way shots. I looked at the location with the PhotoPills app and even drove up to the beach a week earlier and used the apps VR mode on my I pad to verify a Milky Way position around different driftwood trees during the next new moon. In July Florida/Georgia there are many storms and cloudiness conditions but after watching the weather forecasts for the next week that had strong sea breezes pushing clouds inland I headed to Jekyll Island with my travel trailer for a week. I bicycled to the beach at sunset every night and with the new moon being over head meant low tides most of the night. For this capture there was a family kayaking and fishing down the beach using head lamps, I was trying to block them with the driftwood up at the High Tide trail point that I had not really been at before. But I saw the pathway after a test capture that looked interesting but also saw the Milky Way start to pop out behind some clouds. I am a walkabout Photographer I never stay in one spot, I just compose, capture and go. I have watched others just stand in one spot all night with all their gear on the wet sand, I recommend walking/biking all night!!
Editing
This was one of many captures at different settings, I am/was mainly a HDR guy and not knowing what my results would be took most shots at the +/- 1 or 2 ev and then viewed the histogram. But in Camera Noise Reduction is turned off while bracketing, the reason you take single shots and work from there. I have only Lightroom and the Sony Image Data Converter and there was some noise not much but I put the 30 second image through Sony Image Data Converter which did a good job of noise reduction, then processed in Lightroom highlight/light left and Shadows/Dark right and levels medium contrast and played with the sliders and some camera calibration I think Landscape for the color. Then used Nik Define for noise and Nik Color Efex Pro for Contrast adjustments. I processed first the 3 images in Photomatix and Nik HDR Pro but there was too much color fringing around the branches.
In my camera bag
A Sony A7s and now just the new Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6, Sony SEL1018 f/4 in full frame 12-18mm, Sony SEL1635z, Sony SEL24240, Sigma 150-600mm with 1.4 and 2x extenders, Sony 35/2.8, Sony RM-VPR1 for wired shutter release, Vello Shutter Boss II RC-S211 for longer than 30 second captures or the Sony RMT-DSLRR2 for a wireless shutter release an extra battery, Lens and sensor cleaning supplies. If I plan on using different lenses two or three clear trash bags due to salt air and wrap the camera and lens in saran wrap to keep the elements off. I find myself doing Milky Way followed by Sunrises then wildlife on the way back to camp,or sunsets followed by Milky Way.
Feedback
First the milky way is to the south NOT north! Get the PhotoPills app (iOS) or PlanIt! for Photographers (iOS or Google) use both on a pad or tablet (just bigger to study) and the SkySafari app for a planetarium view of the night sky for any day and place and view a in motion view of what you will see to study. For gear and equipment that is recommended go to www.lonelyspeck.com. You do not need a A7s your current gear/kit lens will do it just fine and you do not really need the so called dark sky BUT it should be clear and dark without sky glow. If you go outside and see stars go to your scouted spot and I recommend not alone!!! Start looking in Feb 5am to sunrise to May 1am to sunrise in the SE, June/July/Aug all night from SE to SW, Sept/Oct/Nov sunset til 1 am. The PlanIt! app has tide info also. For a crescent moon rise below the milky way and a sunrise Mar/Apr 5 to 6 days before new moon. If you study the moon set times after the new moon and moon rise times before the new moon you may find 15 days of capture time just watch the weather. Always think out of the box, use many methods if a lot of light think HDR http://www.edgenauxsphotography.org/Photography/2016/i-9KwJjTX/A , Sony has an in camera app called Sky HDR that lets you use a graduated filter making the lower half dark and upper half light and adjust the horizon and blending amounts. The first thing I should have mentioned time of exposure 500/mm for ASP-C multiply 1.5 or 1.6 to your lens mm then 500 divided it. Shoot manual (get + .7 to 1) or Aperture (works really good) but always look at histogram just get 3/4 to the right, you can always dim in post. You want more light to get shadows non noisy. Lightroom has great Noise reduction and the new Dehaze slider in the brush section. Shoot AWB or daylight. If a lot of city ground yellow light get the Hoya Enhancing (Intensifier) Glass Filter and use a Polarizer to get more color in the milky way and sky. Do not brush out natural sky color go to http://www.clarkvision.com/articles/color.of.the.night.sky/ to learn and describe what you captured. Learn to focus on a bright star in magnification mode! And always just have fun enjoy the the gift you are given in the capture!!!

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