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Thread: Catherine Hill Bay Jetty and the Milky Way NIGHT Shoot

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Catherine Hill Bay Jetty and the Milky Way NIGHT Shoot

    Invitation to Novocastrians, Lakesiders, Central Coasters and others who may be interested in shooting the Catho Bay Jetty under the Milky Way.

    The Planets have to align for this to happen, well not so much the planets, more the moon, the clouds, or the lack thereof, and the weather generally, with no wind for preference.

    The windows of opportunity are from now till July 8 and July 24 till August 6 when the moon will not be in the frame and will be far enough behind you so as not to cause lens flare on your widest lens.

    You will need a stout tripod, your widest lens, ie something around 24mm and wider, (the good old 18-55mm kit lens will do the job) a remote shutter release if you have one (you can get one locally from around $5.00 up) warm clothing and possibly gloves.

    I envisage meeting at say the Catho Hill Bowlo before sunset, and moving to a shooting possie before dark.

    I'm flexible with the day of the week although this will need to be on a 'ready to go with 12 hours notice' sort of an arrangement, and will require a cloud spotter on the coast to call the day.
    Last edited by Cage; 01-07-2016 at 4:06pm.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D800 & GAS

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    Just Duding Around
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    Hey Kev.

    I'm keen to meet up and also be another set of eyes as a cloud spotter.
    Working weekends, I won't be able to attend any Fri, Sat or Sunday.

    Here's hoping the heavens are kind to us and we get the perfect night for it.
    Note to self: Must buy a decent set of gloves

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    Member piczzilla's Avatar
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    Hi Kev, I am extremely interested in this meetup, with my NZ trip fast approaching and my astrophotography experience a big fat zero. LOL

    Trouble is I cannot commit, as I live 2 hours away, therefore much depends on the local motel availability, my boss' mercy, etc. And unfortunately that also means I cannot participate in cloud spotting.

    I have a decent tripod and a 24mm, but sadly no shutter release. However, my camera apparently has a timed mirror lock-up feature (it shoots 2 secs after button release), I am hoping this will be a good enough alternative to a $200 Nikon ML-3. Please let me know if it's not the case.

    I'll be keeping an eye on this thread and try my best to attend. I'll also do my astro homework so that I won't trouble anyone.

    Thanks for arranging this :-)
    Last edited by piczzilla; 04-07-2016 at 1:40pm.

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    Just Duding Around
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    Quote Originally Posted by piczzilla View Post
    ...I have a decent tripod and a 24mm, but sadly no shutter release. However, my camera apparently has a timed mirror lock-up feature (it shoots 2 secs after button release), I am hoping this will be a good enough alternative to a $200 Nikon ML-3. Please let me know if it's not the case...
    Hi Picz, I saw your comment and thought I'd rave about the mobile phone app I use to remote activate my camera's shutter release. Then I thought, "Hey, Picz has probably checked that option and found it doesn't work'. So I googled.
    Yep. Glad I did. Seems that Nikion's "WirelessMobileUtility" https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....wu.wmau&hl=en For Android mobile phones doesn't work with a D800. Bummer dude.

    So I dove a bit deeper into the google depths and found a solution that might be something to consider.
    "...Helicon Remote is a utility for tethered shooting and camera remote control..."
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...nRemote2&hl=en
    This means that with the right USB cable, you can use your mobile phone as a shutter release, a remote viewfinder, access exposure controls, auto or manual focus and more apparently.

    I haven't tried the tethered option, but looks like it might be something to consider?

    Cheers and hope to see you there when the clouds clear.
    Last edited by JDuding; 04-07-2016 at 4:02pm.

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    Member piczzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDuding View Post
    Hi Picz, I saw your comment and thought I'd rave about the mobile phone app I use to remote activate my camera's shutter release. Then I thought, "Hey, Picz has probably checked that option and found it doesn't work'. So I googled.
    Yep. Glad I did. Seems that Nikion's "WirelessMobileUtility" https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....wu.wmau&hl=en For Android mobile phones doesn't work with a D800. Bummer dude.

    So I dove a bit deeper into the google depths and found a solution that might be something to consider.
    "...Helicon Remote is a utility for tethered shooting and camera remote control..."
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...nRemote2&hl=en
    This means that with the right USB cable, you can use your mobile phone as a shutter release, a remote viewfinder, access exposure controls, auto or manual focus and more apparently.

    I haven't tried the tethered option, but looks like it might be something to consider?

    Cheers and hope to see you there when the clouds clear.
    Aw man, why did you build up my hopes only to crush them. Really, thanks for all this info, I really appreciate you researching all these for me. Never came across my mind that my phone is capable of more than calling/messaging/facebook. LOL.

    Tethering is not an option unfortunately, since my laptop battery life is only 3 hour max (urgh).

    From what I gather, the remote shutter release is a must when shooting with more than 30 secs exposure, in which case, the stars would start trailing. Since I don't want any star trail, perhaps the timed mirror lock up is (hopefully) sufficient...? If it's not, I guess Nikon ML-3 it is... if I need it now, I reckon I would need it for my NZ trip anyways. Though if I can, I'd like to minimize spending to get a beloved D5.
    Last edited by piczzilla; 05-07-2016 at 9:07am.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion
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    Quote Originally Posted by piczzilla View Post
    From what I gather, the remote shutter release is a must when shooting with more than 30 secs exposure, in which case, the stars would start trailing. Since I don't want any star trail, perhaps the timed mirror lock up is (hopefully) sufficient...? If it's not, I guess Nikon ML-3 it is... if I need it now, I reckon I would need it for my NZ trip anyways. Though if I can, I'd like to minimize spending to get a beloved D5.
    G'day piczilla,

    The remote release won't cost an arm or a leg, should be under $20.00 like these ... http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/Camera-Ph...sn=boltbestbuy with an intervalometer. Just select the appropriate one for your camera model. They are used to eliminate unwanted vibrations when you touch the camera shutter release button.

    JD, it looks like our first window of opportunity will pass us by with another East Coast Low looming. Last Saturday night would have been good. I almost toddled down on my own.

    for later on in the month.
    Last edited by Cage; 05-07-2016 at 10:51am.

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    Member piczzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cage View Post
    The remote release won't cost an arm or a leg, should be under $20.00 like these ... http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/Camera-Ph...sn=boltbestbuy with an intervalometer. Just select the appropriate one for your camera model. They are used to eliminate unwanted vibrations when you touch the camera shutter release button.
    Whoohoo bought and paid. Thanks for the cheap suggestion. Sadly it won't arrive until 20th at the latest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cage View Post
    JD, it looks like our first window of opportunity will pass us by with another East Coast Low looming. Last Saturday night would have been good. I almost toddled down on my own.

    for later on in the month.

    I was driving home from work Saturday night thinking how perfect it looked.
    Was cursing under my breath all the way.
    Yes. Fingers crossed. After seeing some more astro images online while researching apps and stuff, I'm even more looking forward to it.

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    On the bright side, this abysmal weather is falling outside the window of prime night/milky way shooting opportunity.

    I saw on the weather site that we might get a couple of clear nights in the next few days. No good, as well outside the window we were looking at, but made me think... it is supposed to be very windy. This should keep the skies clear, but unless I hang a cinder block as a pendulum from my tripod, I doubt that my equipment will stay still enough to get a clear shot.

    Anyway, here is a link that may be of interest to other interested night shooters of that area.
    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/nsw/hu...erine-hill-bay

    Another photographer I was chatting to expressed interest in attending. Not on this site, but I'm assuming the more the merrier?
    Last edited by JDuding; 11-07-2016 at 8:34am.

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    Member piczzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDuding View Post
    On the bright side, this abysmal weather is falling outside the window of prime night/milky way shooting opportunity.

    I saw on the weather site that we might get a couple of clear nights in the next few days. No good, as well outside the window we were looking at, but made me think... it is supposed to be very windy. This should keep the skies clear, but unless I hang a cinder block as a pendulum from my tripod, I doubt that my equipment will stay still enough to get a clear shot.

    Anyway, here is a link that may be of interest to other interested night shooters of that area.
    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/nsw/hu...erine-hill-bay

    Another photographer I was chatting to expressed interest in attending. Not on this site, but I'm assuming the more the merrier?

    No objection from me, the more the merrier, and the more I can learn from

    No objection on postponing it another week either. I know I should be disappointed, but I'm sort of relieved seeing that my eBay remote trigger hasn't arrived yet lol. Well I can use timer if I have to.

    Thanks for keeping us updated JD
    https://www.instagram.com/piczzilla

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    Hi guys, I would love to join in on the festivities. I have never done astro and would appreciate the gathering to discuss and have a go. I m in Newcastle so not a good sky spotter option so will rely on others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Aitkens View Post
    Hi guys, I would love to join in on the festivities. I have never done astro and would appreciate the gathering to discuss and have a go. I m in Newcastle so not a good sky spotter option so will rely on others.

    Hi Mark.
    Will be good to see you there.
    I haven't had much experience with night shots and all my attempts to date have been from the back balcony of my home. Those efforts have assisted me greatly with failures I have learnt from and images to post that others have been able to see what I need to focus on improving. The advice I have gotten has been invaluable and shows with a noticeable improvement in my shots.

    If you get a chance anytime, try some test shots. Every shot helps

    As for weather spotting.
    I'm at the Sydney end of the Central Coast, so Catho would be about half way between us.
    With your sky spotting and mine (and any others also), we should get pretty close.

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    Hi folks,
    I'm kind of keen to have a go at astro too. I've got the gear, I just don't use it, so this might be a good opportunity. I'm at Macquarie Hills, not too far from Catho.

    Regards
    Glen1
    Regards

    Glen1

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    Sounds like a plan re: sky spotting.

    I only have an APS-C camera at the moment, but, may bring a film camera to try as well (Pentax LX). In fact I will. The film camera has a unique capability in that it meters the shot off the film surface, so, all I have to do is fire the shutter and leave it alone until it is exposed. Never tried that feature and would be keen to do so.

    Unless my K-1 FF pentax digital arrives soon, I will resort to a K5iis (16MP) APS-C camera with a bunch of lens possibilities. I have a 20mm 2.8 in addition to some slower by wider angle lenses (Sigma 8-16/4.5-5.6; 17-50/2.8; fish-eye-takumar 17/4; Pentax DA 10-17/3.5 fisheye). Not sure it really matters - could try them all.

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    Just Duding Around
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Aitkens View Post
    ...I only have an APS-C camera at the moment...
    Unless it rains down a whole lotta Lotto on me, I'll be doing what I can with my APS-C camera as well

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    So when are you all meeting up?
    Thurs/Friday nights seem promising.

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    Not sure about Catherine Bay area, but it's been crazy windy on my side of the country these past few days

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    So when are you all meeting up?
    Thurs/Friday nights seem promising.
    Hey Mark. My understanding is that it will be a meet up when all the conditions are favourable for the exercise.
    We need clear skies, No moon and clear schedules for the meet to work out.
    Also, I hope that if the best night for the shoot falls on a night that I can't attend, that the meet still go ahead and I will be sorry if any can't attend due to schedule conflicts, but I still will if I can.

    Making it a regular weekly event is not something I'd be interested in, but would like to attend when I can.

    As a starter, I'm hoping that this next moon free window is accompanied by very clear skies on a day that all can attend.
    Shoot for perfection, take what we can get.



    Quote Originally Posted by piczzilla View Post
    Not sure about Catherine Bay area, but it's been crazy windy on my side of the country these past few days
    Windy? It was so windy here. (How windy was it?) It was SO windy, that out in the boat today with a mate fishing and the anchor was doing a better job as a sea bed plow than holding the boat in one spot. It was windy.

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    Yes really windy to say the least today across the whole region.

    OK, the moon phase is not the best ATM, although can be used to advantage. It is 81% visible this Friday; perhaps the best weather day in the foreseeable future (light winds and partly cloudy). The next new moon is on 3 August (no moonlight) but we could aim for any time between 27 July and 3 August as the moon rise for this period is after 11:30pm (the middle of this period is smack in the middle of a weekend). Weather in that period is ????

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion
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    Well, quite a good crew gathering in the wings.

    Unfortunately due to the unpredictably of the weather it is almost impossible to nominate a date more than a day or two in advance, and then we have to do a last minute check with the cloud-spotters on the coast for a cloud free horizon.

    Just had a moment. The Surf Cams could be of assistance in checking cloud cover. http://www.coastalwatch.com/surf-cam...s/nsw/terrigal

    And this bloody wind is a no-no for long exposures too.

    In the meantime we can all work on the best way to focus our various lens. Auto-focus is very iffy, and with a lot of lens the infinity marker is off the mark. Get out in the yard when you can see a star and practice till you can capture a pin point of light and not the bloated donuts I've often captured.

    If you have a laptop and a card reader bring it along so you can check your results on the fly. I'll have mine there for those who don't have one.

    This is a spot I envisage as a good shooting possie. Car parking and a nice elevated platform. For those brave enough to climb down onto the beach there are many more possibilities although this old woose won't be lugging two or three grands worth of gear down the rocks in the dark.

    OK, here's the shooting possie.

    Catho Shooting Possie-2.GIF

    And here's the Milky Way at 6pm on July 24

    Catho Milky Way 24-7 at 1800 -.JPG

    And this is a very, very rough idea of what I hope to get on the night. This is a composite of two images, one day, one night, with two different lens in two different locations. But you get the idea.

    cathoTake 7.jpg

    for the weather gods to play nice.
    Last edited by Cage; 13-07-2016 at 2:28pm.

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