Rodney Campbell's Blog

Bea Bea Archway

by on Dec.11, 2018, under Life, Photography

Another night in remote outback Australia, another chance to shoot under these amazingly dark skies at Bea Bea rest area

Sunset was at 5:37PM and moonrise was going to be at 8:37PM so my window of opportunity was going to be short. No startrails again – just some static milky way action

After dinner I headed up the hill next to our Bea Bea camp site where I’d been earlier in the afternoon. I’d arrived and was setup for shooting by 6:50PM

Bea Bea Archway

Bea Bea Archway

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 4000 x 8 Frames

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

There was a little light pollution over the horizon so I couldn’t push the ISO too far (ISO 4000 was about the best I could hope for). The main problems I had was with the brightness of the Bea Bea campground nestled in the hollow below me and from the road trains coming through at regular intervals

At least with the later I could time the individual shots to coincide with when they’d driven out of the scene. This just meant there was a lot of waiting around for the right moment 🙂

I took two sets of vertical frames to later stitch into panoramas (the first with 9 frames and the second with 8)

Thankful to be out under the stars again… Finished for the evening I packed up at 7:45PM and headed back down to camp

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Resting Under the Stars

by on Dec.08, 2018, under Life, Photography

Resting 82km’s north-east of Port Hedland, 71km south-west of Pardoo Roadhouse on western side of Great Northern Highway and northern side of river sits De Grey River Rest Area

There were plenty of people resting here for the night and it was another opportunity for me to get out, walk the ten metres required and setup to take some milky way shots of the clear night skies :). The only things I had which I could include in the foreground were these few tress and our vans and cars. Not awesomely inspiring or amazing but the best I could do on short notice 🙂

Resting Under the Stars

Resting Under the Stars

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 4000 x 7 Frames

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

I took seven (7) vertical frames using the Samyang 14mm at around a quarter past 7 (a little after astro twilight and less than half an hour before moonrise). The real trick here was trying to deal with the brightness of all the lights from all the vans and the few people walking about with their lights

The milky way was high in the sky (the arch was almost vertical above rather than nice and low towards the horizon). This meant I had to angle the very wide 14mm up quite high to make sure I included the top of the arch. Given that I’m doing this all manually by hand and by eye in the dark I’m pretty happy it even stitched 🙂

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Solitude

by on Dec.05, 2018, under Life, Photography

Another chance to shoot the milky way out here in the remote areas of the Mueller Ranges

Unfortunately the moon was bright this evening which made it difficult to shoot the stars or the milky way. It was already two (2) days after the first quarter and just five (5) days until the full moon. So the moon was already quite large and high in the sky and probably too bright for shooting the stars. It did however make for a lovely moonlit landscape on yet another beautiful evening out here in the wilderness

Solitude

Solitude

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/3.2, ISO 2000 x 5 Frames

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

Still I’m out here in this fantastic location which I’ll probably never see again and which I surely couldn’t waste… so given I only have to walk a whole 50m from the caravan to setup for the shot it’s just got to be attempted…

Ngumban Cliff Lookout – Mueller Ranges – yeah – middle of freakin’ nowhere 🙂

Ngumban Cliff Lookout - Mueller Ranges

I was only able to push to ISO 2000 this evening when shooting the open skies. That was before it started really washing out the sky with the brightness of the moon. The Milky Way was still clearly visible to the naked eye. But you just couldn’t push the camera to capture more of the stars without also brightening everything (including the sky and the moonlit foreground).

I had great plans for this lone tree out here on the edge of the lookout – a nice arch of stars over the tree…

To get the arch I had to shoot from behind the tree looking back towards the Ngumban Cliff Rest Area with all the caravans and campers. We were just having dinner over there under the covered tables behind the tree only an hour beforehand

This location is actually pretty epic so I’ve requested a two night stay when we’re there again next year 🙂

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Crossing the Arch

by on Dec.02, 2018, under Life, Photography

I also tried a horizontal panorama with a milky way arch over this spectacular boab specimen. I took this using vertical frames with the Samyang 14mm. I really wasn’t hopeful at the time with bright frames on the left from the campsites. Plus the big moon and the massive flare it creates on the right

Crossing the Arch

Crossing the Arch

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 2500 x 7 Frames

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

It’s got issues and I had to work the hell out of it but here it is nonetheless – almost usable 🙂

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Boab Dreamtime

by on Nov.29, 2018, under Life, Photography

We had originally thought of staying in Wyndham for the evening but it was still early so we left Wyndham and headed south. Eventually we arrived at the crossroads between the Great Northern Highway and the Victoria Highway

There isn’t a lot here – it’s an intersection of two major highways after all :). However there were a number of other caravans and campers setup here in the rest area so we figured we’d join them

Crossroads

Crossroads

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 4000

There were a few nice looking Boab trees in a semi clear area nearby. So I went for a wander with my daughter just on sunset for a bit of a recce. Surprisingly even though we were literally in the middle of nowhere we had good mobile reception here. So as the sun set over the Kimberley’s we Facetime’d the family. They could enjoy the sunset behind the boab trees with us 🙂

After dinner I went back to the boabs to see if I could make use of the clear skies and the stars again. The moon was well and truly out by this stage. Quite high in the sky and more than a quarter moon. Very much not ideal for shooting the milky way. The moonlight did however light the landscape turning night into day so I had to work with it as best I could

I figured the best way to deal with it was to simply include it in the frame. For the image up top I’ve moved up quite close to the boab to let it fill a lot of the frame

Boab Dreamtime

Boab Dreamtime

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 2500 x 3 Frames

I then took three horizontal overlapping compositions moving from top to bottom to create a vertical panorama. I had to drop the ISO down to 2500 so as to not totally blow out the upward facing frame

I really like this final image with the milky way reaching way up into the sky

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