I’d never considered taking a camera out at night and taking pics of the sky, I do landscapes. It’s relatively easy to take landscape images, whereas you need lots of expensive equipment to do anything else.
Then I joined the Port Talbot Camera Club and my eyes were opened.
Astrophotography… O.M.G…. and I don’t need anything more than what I've already got… well, apart from a new flask… and thin gloves with the fingertips missing…. and new filters of course.
I fell in love, I’m obsessed, that’s all I think about. I even had to buy a new camera and I’m now gazing with lust at new lenses.
With help and advice from the club members, my cousin Stephen (who’s a bit handy with a camera), and the internet, I ventured out to my back yard and attempted some star trails. It was only a short session but it was enough to make me realise the equipment I have can make pictures I could be pleased with.
Trips to my local forest were planned with Photopills and Sunsurveyor. I already knew the forest roads and paths from cycling around my area from the last 20 odd years, the apps helped me plan what I would see, when, and how best to get the images I wanted.
My first attempts hit problems though. For star stream images, I wanted to take many images in sequence and then use Starstax to create the trails. I set the K5 to use the intervals option: 30 second exposure, 1 second wait to start transfer to sdcard, take another 30s exposure etc. But this didn’t work, if I set the option to take 100 exposures it would stop after about 20.
Eventually I discovered that the camera doesn’t work well in this manner, it wants to open the shutter every 30s (or whatever interval is set) regardless of wait time. And it can’t do that, it will only work if the wait time is set to exposure time plus a few seconds extra. But this will leave long gaps between exposures that Starstax can’t blend…