Saturn and a wide “starfield”

David, Jasmine, Calvin and I enjoyed Curt Nason’s first installment of an astronomy course up at Rockwood park Tuesday evening (http://rockwoodpark.ca/events/welcome-to-the-night-sky), and afterward we enjoyed some nice views of Jupiter and Saturn.

I decided to try a few pictures tonight when Saturn was higher in the sky, and here is the best of the lot:

 Saturn cropped

This took a bit of experimentation, but what I did was as follows, using my Canon 5D MkIII, 500mm F4 lens + 1.4x teleconverter:

– Mirror was locked up, 2s delayed timer (that way pressing the shutter activates the lock-up, and then the 2s timer actually takes the picture — I don’t have to touch the camera at all)

– Autofocus off (pre-focused), IS on (lot’s of debate on the net around this, but since the exposure was relatively short I thought it would help more than hurt)

– I had long exposure noise reduction enabled, but the best shots were all short exposures so it would not have kicked in

– ISO 3200, 1/1000 second, f/7.1

In the end, though, that’s a pretty boring picture. 

So, I spiced it up with a noisy “starfield”:

Saturn with starfield - 1D7A8348

 

In Lightroom I did a bit of post-processing; bumped the clarity and smoothed the luminance.  I like the effect and, since this won’t go into any scientific journal or to APOD, I figure artistic license is excuse enough 🙂

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