Landscape astro photography or milky way photography is getting more and more popular nowadays. In my opinion a good milky way picture is about more than the stars alone, a good foreground is what makes your picture stand out. Landscape astro photography has been one of my favorite subjects for several years now, so in this article I will share my experiences for those that are just starting out.
So, Phillip: You haven’t published an article for three months: Where have you been? Well I sat in front of my PC for work a lot but I also was out in nature on my bike with a camera bag on my back.
Enjoying the freedoms C19 left
16.3.20: The first day schools were closed in Germany
I am a teacher so my daily routines changed completely with the closure of schools: I had no longer to be in school by 8am which gave me the freedom to do early morning rides but at the same time my workload increased significantly since new formats had to be developed to fit the new setting, individual feedback took a lot of time and digital tools had to be deployed and colleagues trained in them. So my hours in front of the PC increased a lot, so much so that it would have been stressful to invest even more hours to produce any blog content. A big thanks to Bastian and also to David and Juriaan wo kept the blog alive in the last months.
While C19 took many liberties I tried to make the most of the liberties which C19 left. Riding my bicycle in the early hours when none is around was still allowed under our relatively liberal lockdown rules.To me there is no better place to find respite from the turbulences of life than getting up with the sun and riding through the forest on a cold morning or slightly less frosty evening all by myself. We also had very sunny weather for weeks which I used to experience and capture the spring like no spring before. I want to share some of the many pictures I took in this article.
Hi Juriaan,can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you use manual Lenses? Juriaan: I’m a hydrobiologist from Ede in the Netherlands. In the beginning of 2012 my photography journey started out with a Fujifilm bridge camera. In 2013 I bought my first interchangeable lens camera, a Nikon D7000 including a 10-20 and 18-200. While using this camera I improved my skills quite a bit and I discovered my love for astro photography.
However, size and weight bothered me a lot, as did the average quality of my lenses, especially the annoying autofocus and bad manual focus implementation made me switch to an A7S in 2015. I got the Samyang/Rokinon 14mm T3.1 and the Loxia 2/50 along with it. The manual focus experience of the Loxia hooked me up on manual lenses. I found some old m42 primes, including the Pentacon 1.8/50, which I could use with an adapter. I liked working with those lenses a lot so I started to collect them at thrift shops which resulted in quite some nice lenses over the years. This way I could discover a broad range of (bokeh) rendering for little money. As I hated the from factor of the Samyang 14mm I added the little Voigtländer 15mm f/4.5 to my kit. Using manual lenses helped me to improve my photography a lot in a short period. Being unable to just point and shoot I had to overthink things much more which is the best way to learn quick. To everybody who starts with photography I can only recommend to get one or two cheap manual lenses, it will help you to understand the exposure triangle quickly, and it slows you down which makes you think more about things like composition.
Last two years I already visited (by airplane) the Balkan countries Montenegro and Albania for a hiking vacation with my girlfriend and a photography trip with my photo buddy Rick. The wild nature of the Balkans attracts me a lot. As the Balkans are not well known yet, and a lot of people from West Europe think its still dangerous there (most area’s are safe nowadays), you can walk around in the mountains without seeing anyone for a whole day.
The Balkan countries also have very nice, often old cities at the Adriatic coast which are touristic, but not nearly as those in e.g. Italy.
Below you can find a few pictures from my trip last year, which convinced me to go back again this year. Most photo’s of this year can be found in high resolution here. The timelapse video my friend Rick made is also worth checking.
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