Had a near perfect alignment of the rising moon and the cathedral in the town where I live a few weeks ago and took my cameras out to a high point to see what I could capture. Had both my Panasonic GX85 with the Olympus 75-300mm @ 187mm (or 374mm Full Frame equivalent) and an Sony a7R with a Samyang 135mm set up using their internal intervalometer functions to capture the rise of the moon, and then again as I repositioned to get the moon transitioning behind the steeple of an old school building. I also had my Sony a7S III with me, so while these shots where being taken I took the opportunity to test a Picture Profile I had setup in my a7S III for use with low light video. Think it might be ok for urban environments, verdict is still out for use when away from all sources of ambient light. Anyway, not much in the way of a plan with this video, was quite happy with the way it came together.
With the last year being what it was, it has been some time since I managed to get a solid chunk of time to get out and do any location scouting for future shoots. Almost felt a bit foreign to be out amongst it again when that chance did come around again. Headed out to one of my favourite parks here in Central Victoria and decided to explore the “easy” side as previously I had always sought out the road least travelled. The rock formations I found were nothing short of amazing, it didn’t take long for that feeling of adventure and discovery to return.
So I’ve finally been getting a bit of use out of Move Shoot Move 2-in-1 Star Tracker & Rotator for actual star tracking sessions of late. I’ve used the rotator function of this device extensively, a function that to my mind almost justifies the cost of this device on its own merit. The star tracker however wasn’t quite working for me. With Australia being in the Southern Hemisphere, I had no bright pole star to align too even if the star pointer laser was legal. I went with the polar scope option with my purchase, however simply could not positively identify Sigma Octantis, the tiny magnitude 5.5 pole star for the Southern Hemisphere, through the scope no matter how hard I tried. I retired myself to the idea that I was going to have to make do with blind alignment using apps on my phone for a “near enough” polar alignment for which only wide focal lengths could be used without trails. To date, I have been quite pleased with how wrong I’ve been about this.Continue reading “Milky Way at 150mm with my MSM”