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Cooling Towers



Jacksonville Florida JEA power plant cooling towers for coal fired plant not nuclear. Being closed this year not effective cost wise. These no longer stand, wer...
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Jacksonville Florida JEA power plant cooling towers for coal fired plant not nuclear. Being closed this year not effective cost wise. These no longer stand, were imploded this year 2018. Captured with the SEL1224G lens. Was trying to get the Milky Way but city glow was bright BUT stars are pinpoint above even at 30 seconds.
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Behind The Lens

Location
Jacksonville Florida next to the St. Johns river and Dames Point Bridge (Officially Napoleon Bonaparte Broward bridge)
Time
July 15, 2017 at 00:48:55 Why at that time? Was trying to get the Milky Way between the towers! I got a lot of stars but due to city glow and some thin low clouds it just did not come out. So I played with long and short exposure times while the towers let go of some used water.
Lighting
I was on a access road north of the plant looking south toward Jacksonville Florida with city light glow but with a very clear night was not too bright so stars could be seen real well. Even the power plant lights did not really effect the night sky much.
Equipment
I normally do night shots with my Sony A7S but had just got an A7RM2 and the SEL1224G lens. I did several shots with both cameras testing the new lens. And I use a heavy Manfrotto 190L for it is really stable for night shots. I do a lot of night shots and had used the SEL1018 but in full frame mode from 12 to 18 mm (excellent low cost lens) for year and before that the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 (has star trails in upper corners). I have found the SEL1224G is a really great lens, big but being a telephoto you can play with framing without moving to a different foreground spot.
Inspiration
During Milky Way season new moons February (SE) to November (SW) and June/July all night capture sunset to sunrise from SE to SW but around midnight it gets straight up and down vertical. I was trying to get the Milky Way between the towers, I did get one shot but very dim MW. But while waiting for the MW to get between the towers I played with exposure times with both the A7S and A7RM2 and found this one to be nice in post. One other test was to see how the "Bright Monitoring" function on the A7RM2 worked, this capture was using that function and I got less noise in the shadows. Every capture an experiment and a learning more about light!!!! For moon and milky way go out a few days before new moon.
Editing
Really all that was needed was some sliders action in Lightroom to bring out stars and lower the intensity of the plant lights.
In my camera bag
For night capture the A7S and the SEL1224G f/4 or Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6 but the A7RM2 is almost as good with noise control using bright monitoring mode. But for night shots just one camera and one lens and a tripod, never change a lens in open air and the less gear you can move around more.
Feedback
For night capture of Milky Way PhotoPills, Planit! for Photographers, and SkySafari (iOS) also a good weather app and get to know your local weather person for a heads up on a clear night coming up. For night shots plan, plan, plan and go out even with light cloud cover, the clouds move and there maybe an opening. I like Aperture mode but in Manual try and get a + .7 ev MM and AWB seems to work best BUT test all WB settings just to see. YES RAW you can change in post BUT you need a good starting point that will make it easier (you will me surprised what you find), also AWB gives better MW colors that you do not have to brush in. As far as city lights AWB works good but again scroll through WB in live view and compare. Every capture is an experiment like a scientific test in the lab that you today see the results immanently not a week or two later like film. A raw and a jpeg look almost the same just raw has more data to experiment with also the jpeg is processed in camera with all your settings. Last you do not need a top of the line camera just get what you can afford and play, hone your skills for when you can afford a nice rig. Also your soul will call you out to do night shots no alarm needed and most important take a friend or two and leave a note where you will be.

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