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Photography Question 
Alexander M. Lanaux
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2004

How to shoot stars without moon light

I read a book on astrophotography this summer and found it interesting. I have a pentax k-1000(a good camer according to the book). I don't realy know enough about other equipment, and nothing about technique. If any one has this info please answer! thanks in advance.

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9/21/2004 6:23:13 PM

Kim Helmick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/17/2004
  You're going to have to choose a night when there is little/no moon visible in the sky if you want to eliminate moonlight from the shot. Going to need a tripod and use the bulb setting on your camera. Also, may want to pick not the coldest night because you're going to need to be out there quite a while to capture star trails and batteries will run out quicker in colder weather. Of course you'll need to be far away from city lights too.

Hope this wasn't too simplistic!

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9/22/2004 6:19:44 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  dosen't a k1000 only need the battery for the meter?
If so, use a locking cable release and leave it on the tripod for an hour

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9/22/2004 4:14:37 PM

Rebecka Franklin  
It helps to have a way to release the shutter without touching the camera like a self timer or cable.

It also depends on the result you want. If you do not want star trails you need a fast film, and keep your exposure under 2 minutes.

I took this one with 100 film and I left the shutter open for two and a half hours. I believe that my apeture was at 2.8 It was right after the sun went down and no moon that night.

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9/23/2004 8:22:15 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  That's a great star-trail photo, Rebecka!
(I've tried this a few times, and ended up with "mush") :(

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9/23/2004 3:48:42 PM

Rebecka Franklin   Thanks Bob! I am lucky to live in a place that I can step out on my front deck and have a view of the Big Dipper and the North Star and not have any street lights in the way!

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9/24/2004 8:15:07 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  You ARE lucky!
The only "Big Dipper" visible from my porch, is my his pool. :)

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9/24/2004 5:24:01 PM

Alex Cabrall   Rebecka, I'll guess you either live in CO or close to it: The angle of the north star looks similar to my shots. To Directly answer the origonal question: YES, a K1000 would be a WONDERFUL camera, if it doesn't need a Battery to fire the shutter. If it indeed does not: take the battery OUT. Make sure you take your filters OFF for astrophotography. I'll also agree about the weather: Do this in summer if you can. My science teacher had us do this in the dead of winter (read: snow. deep snow.). For wonderful shots of MORE stars than you can see unaided cyrstal clear (read: no trails) I think I used ISO 400, 15 seconds, F/1.8. A shame I turned in the good ones and don't know where the are anymore. The advice for trails above is dead on. Hope this helps, I can remember looking at what would later become my first camera, and looking at the snow and the stars, and wondering just how in the WORLD would pull it off. Best of Luck.

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9/24/2004 8:37:56 PM

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