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Urban Koala

by on May.21, 2019, under Life, Photography

Urban Koala

Urban Koala

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S @ 70 mm, 1/80 to 13 sec at f/8, ISO 64

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.

This particular shot was quite tricky to craft

Again this Koala is one of the new light installations at Taronga Zoo this year

All the lanterns are quite bright – very bright against the ambient darkness

The city in the background of this shot is visible to the naked eye. However in a “correctly” exposed shot of the Koala the city lights are barely visible. In a shot which correctly exposes for the city the Koala is nuclear with glowing edges

So in this case I took a nine frame bracket at 1EV intervals. Then blended those images in post to create the above with a nicely exposed Koala along with the city in the background

Vivid Sydney and Lights for the Wild opens this Friday the 24th May and runs to 15th June 2019

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Lioness

by on May.21, 2019, under Life, Photography

Lioness

Lioness

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S @ 25.5 mm, 1/2 sec at f/8, ISO 64

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.

Another of the new light sculptures at Lights for the Wild at Taronga Zoo this year

A pride of Lions in anticipation of the new African Savannah precinct which opens later this year

Vivid Sydney and Lights for the Wild opens this Friday the 24th May and runs to 15th June 2019

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Cubs at Play

by on May.20, 2019, under Life, Photography

Cubs at Play

Cubs at Play

NIKON Z 7 + NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S @ 62 mm, 1/6 sec at f/8, ISO 64

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.

This is one of the new light sculptures at Lights for the Wild at Taronga Zoo this year

My daughter’s out there frolicking with the three gorgeous and playful Sumatran Tiger cubs. This new installation has been created this year to celebrate the birth of Kartika’s three new cubs

Vivid Sydney and Lights for the Wild opens this Friday the 24th May and runs to 15th June 2019

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Stacking Stars for Less Noise

by on May.17, 2019, under Life, Photography

Stacking Stars for Less Noise

Stacking Stars for Less Noise

NIKON Z 7 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 15 sec at f/2.8, ISO 3200 x 7 Frames

Here is a very close up shot of a small portion of yesterdays image of the milky way. These crops represent significantly less than 1% of the overall original frame

The top part is from the single 15 second exposure at ISO 3200. No colour noise reduction has been applied. You can see there’s a fair bit of noise in the image (especially when viewed here at 100%)

The lower part is the result of stacking the seven (7) shots I took. Each of those frames was the same 15 seconds at ISO 3200. When aligned and averaged in software it noticeably reduces noise. However it still retains the sharp pinpoint stars

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Stacks of Stars – For Less Noise

by on May.16, 2019, under Life, Photography

Stacks of Stars

Stacks of Stars

NIKON Z 7 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 219 sec at f/2.8, ISO 250 + 15 sec at f/2.8, ISO 3200 x 7 Frames

Something Gerry suggested whilst we were shooting some static milky way shots this evening

Stacking a number of short exposure star images together for less noise and better stars

It is something I’d heard of before, and a technique I knew was used in astro photography. However I’d never used it myself

So I dutifully took a sequence of short (15 second) static milky way frames… to later look at in post processing and ignore and move on 🙂

However in post… I was going to blend this (219 sec) light painted foreground shot with a nice static milky way shot. I’d need to do this because the stars were not pinpoints but long trails in a 219 second exposure

Since I was already going to photoshop to do the blend I figured I might as well try stacking my star stacks

The process is basically simple:

  • Open your short star images as layers in photoshop
  • Mask out the foreground (on all layers) (so they don’t affect the next step)
  • Align all the layers so the stars are all aligned (I used auto align layers for this but you may have to manually align)
  • Remove the masking on the foreground
  • Stack all of the star layers as a Smart Object
  • Set the Smart Object -> Stack Mode to Median

The end result is an image with sharp stars but with far less noise than a single image

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