4 Comments | Report
RuwanFonseka September 08, 2015
Welcome to VB. Great blend of technique and artistry,
Astrophotobear September 08, 2015
thanks muchly - trying to find my way around VB >_
Ledopix October 08, 2015
PeteB72 October 31, 2015
Very good concept.
Danny161 February 25, 2017
Super impressive! Looks almost surreal!

Distant Lands

27 image panorama using the Akira Fujii technique for the stars. The technique uses a fog filter for part of the exposure causing some bloating in the brighter ...
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27 image panorama using the Akira Fujii technique for the stars. The technique uses a fog filter for part of the exposure causing some bloating in the brighter stars to bring them out more. This results in some greater identification of constellations.
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Behind The Lens

This image was taken at Nambung National Park - the Pinnacles. It's about 160km north of Perth in Western Australia. This is a desert area with yellow sand and limestone spires riddle the landscape making it a very interesting location to shoot.
It's night time. This image was taken in early/mid winter 2014. I made a trip after surveying the conditions and did a series of panoramas. I think I shot for about 4-5 hours straight.
The milky way is shot using a technique called the Akira Fujii technique (named after the person who started it) - using a fog filter and holding it up for a portion of the exposure causes the brighter stars to bloat and be more prominent. I've used a speedlite and gary fong light sphere to light myself. I've also positioned light pollution so that it also helps focus on myself.
Canon 6d, Tokina 11-16mm lens, 2 tripods, speedlite, gary fong lightsphere and wireless trigger.
The wanderer series that I have - has myself in self portraits exploring various astrophotography scenes. I've ended up in a few photography magazines with it. This particular image has been on a cover of an international photography magazine as well. The lighting for the self portrait is something I developed for what I've called my "wanderer" series - which has me holding a speedlite with a gary fong. The idea for the lighting is that the gary fong allows the light to spread around me. It's more or less inspired by movies and an old dungeons and dragons sort of history for an exploring character holding aloft a torch when exploring (there's actually a whole other story of how this lighting got started). I'd done the self portraits using a torch light before to create a beam. I actually tried several other self portraits using a range of different lighting techniques before I did this one. I actually didn't achieve the lighting I wanted with the first few attempts, and thinking about it made me realise the difficulty of implementing it in a panorama. I'm a bit of a speedlite crazy person, so this was one that I ended up trying and was very successful. Exposing for the ambient (the landscape is visible at the settings I shot) and used the light to shape the interest. The image is called "Distant Lands" - representing exploring in the alien landscape.
Panorama image stitched together in PTGUI Pro in a particular way - when combined with the positioning of the milky way creates a fish eye effect. Post processing also in lightroom and photoshop.
In my camera bag
I use a thinktank streetwalker hard drive - has loads of space, very comfortable and is just the right dimensions to carry onto a plane. Canon 6d (it's a great astrophotography camera for it's noise control), tamron 15-30m f2.8 (previously the tokina 11-16), 1-2 speedlites with wireless triggers, gary fong lightsphere, rogue flashbender, lee filters, a black piece of cardboard (for black carding), canon 50mm f1.4, tamron 90mm f2.8 macro, canon 70-200mm F4, flash gels, multiple torch lights and headlamps, hand warmers (to help deal with lens fogging), wireless intervelometer, spare batteries, magnetic compass, handheld gps, a bear. Various other items that depend on the trip.
Push the boundaries of your camera, experiment with different settings to work out what your best signal to noise ratio is and learn how to control it. The milky way is easy to locate and plan around (subject to weather) - so working out compositions is frequently easier.

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