Well, we had a tripod swap this week, so I went out last night to try my “new” used tripod. I made this photo in my front yard using my D90, Tokina 12 – 24mm zoom, and my new Nikon wired remote release. I set the lens at 12mm, f7.1, and exposed for 25 seconds at ISO 200, using matrix metering. I also set Exposure Delay mode on, Active D-Lighting on Auto, and used Long Exp. NR on. I recorded it in RAW and processed it in Adobe Lightroom. If you click on it, you can look at a larger version.
I like the way the palm tree leads your eye to the constellation Orion in the top right part of the photo, and the wide angle distortion causes both trees to lean in and point up. I also think the dynamic range here is pretty impressive. The moon is completely blown out of course, but the detail in the trees (lit by street lights) along with the how the stars are captured by the sensor in this camera is something I’ve never seen in a photo I’ve made before. Especially with such low noise.
Also interesting is that at 25 seconds, star trails are already visible. 25 seconds = 25/(24*60*60) or ~.1 degree. At 12mm, this lens has about a 99 degree field of view, so .1 degree is about 4 pixels.
By the way, I found out recently that the reason the wired release changed from the D80 to the D90 is that the pin out had to be modified to accommodate the GPS unit. Otherwise I could have kept and used my D80 wired release.
©2009, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.