Winters' End

Winters' End

Lancelin Sand Dunes

It's been a difficult winter in Western Australia in terms of Astrophotography. The relentless rains poured down for what seemed like an eternity to finally give way to clear skies on the first day of Spring.

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to image the night sky at one of my favourite places, the Lancelin Sand Dunes.

This image is a 25 frame panorama taken with a Nikon D750 and Sigma 20mm ART lens. This was the first time I've shot a Milky Way panorama with the Sigma 20mm ART lens and I am thoroughly impressed with the performance of the lens wide open.

An interesting thing about this picture is that is was actually shot at ISO800 to keep the noise levels as low as possible. Using the ISO Invariance technology of the Nikon D750, I lifted the overall signal to ISO2000 by way of increasing the exposure slider by +1.3 stops, resulting in a correctly exposed image along with the ability to lower noise levels in the foreground.

Date: 1st September 2016
Time: 9:30pm
Location: Lancelin Sand Dunes

Camera: Nikon D750
Lens: Sigma 20mm ART
Tripod Mount: Gigapan Epic Pro

Breaking Autumn

Breaking Autumn

Sugarloaf Rock, Dunsborough

The autumn rains have been relentless this year. Two straight months of rain, clouds and wind finally broke on the first day of winter, revealing the calmest of nights at Naturaliste, WA.

Perfect timing for the heart of the 2016 Astrophotography season.
For those who know me, I love panoramas. Pushing the megapixel count as high as possible for larger and larger prints.

This image is a crop from a 360 degree photosphere for the beach area before Sugarloaf Rock. The original photosphere was a combination of 63 individual image and rendered at over 450 Megapixels, taking over half and hour to capture the full image.

Date: 1 June 2016
Time: 8:30pm
Location: Sugarloaf Rock, Naturaliste, WA

Camera: Nikon D750
Lens: Sigma 24mm ART
Tripod Mount: Gigapan Epic Pro

ISO3200
F2.0
25s x 63

The Milky Way

The Milky Way

Pinnacles Desert, Cervantes

This is a 104 frame single-layer photo mosaic capturing the Milky Way directly overhead taken with a Nikon 58mm F1.4G.

I took this image at the Pinnacles Desert in Western Australia which features some of the darkest skies in Australia.

Date: 1st July 2016
Time: 9:30pm
Location: Pinnacles, Cervantes

Camera: Nikon D750
Lens: Nikon 58mm 1.4G
Tripod Mount: Gigapan Epic Pro

Settings:
ISO3200
F1.4
10 seconds x 104 frames

Pinnacles of Adventure

Pinnacles of Adventure

Pinnacles Desert, Cervantes

Few places capture the essence of the West Australian landscape as well as the Pinnacles Desert in the Nambung National Park at Cervantes.

This well-documented site features thousands of limestone structures known as the "Pinnacles" and the lack of light pollution gives way to some of the best skies in the world.

Such was the clarity of night that the Zodical Lights was still visible 4 hours after sunset.

This is an extract from a larger 360 degree photosphere which is a combination of 80 individual images and took over 40 minutes to capture.

Date: 1st July 2016
Time: 8:40pm
Location: Pinnacles, Cervantes

Camera: Nikon D750
Lens: Sigma 24mm ART
Tripod Mount: Gigapan Epic Pro

Settings:
ISO3200
F1.8
25 seconds x 80

Pure Serenity : Sugarloaf Rock

Title: Pure Serenity

Sugarloaf Rock, 2nd June 2016

The beauty of the West Australian coast never ceases to amaze me.

The relentless autumn rains pounded on for its entirety and finally broke on the first day of winter, giving way to a brilliantly calm and clear night over Sugarloaf Rock. Ceasing the rare opportunity of a cloudless night, my room mate and I decided to take the 3 hour drive down south to capture the Milky Way setting over Sugarloaf Rock at 4:30am in the morning.

As the winds came in, we braved the cold sea air and headed down to the shoreline, mere meters away from the ice cold waves pounding against the rocks. We tracked along the shoreline until finally coming to a halt directly in front of Sugarloaf Rock. Looking up, I saw the galactic core directly above. I set up my camera and this is what I captured. 

This panorama is a result of 35 individual images in a 7x5 format taken with a 24mm lens. The entire photo took 15mins to capture and rendered at a massive 364 megapixels before final crop.

Date: 2 June 2016
Time: 4:30am
Location: Sugarloaf Rock, Naturaliste, WA

Camera: Nikon D750
Lens: Sigma 24mm ART
Tripod Mount: Gigapan Epic Pro

ISO3200
f2.0
20s x 35