Sample 149 – Shooting Stars

Here’s a composite, stitched from 8 exposures, 4×2 @ 18mm.
Each exposure was constant at 30 Seconds, f/4, ISO 4000. Landscape orientation.
The sun rose pretty early, at around 4:30-5:00am. Post-processing includes Levels and Saturation. 

So here’s why I was not able to post over the weekend (come to think about it, I should probably keep the weekends free); A great group of friends of mine spent Friday night and Saturday morning over at Bauang, La Union. It’s no Boracay, but I can tell you that the light conditions here were okay enough for me to do something I’ve always wanted to try: Astrophotography with my X-E2.

I have to admit that the light and weather conditions were not optimal, and I could only do so much with the lens I had (the ‘kit’ 18-55 f2.8 – f4), but I still had loads of fun playing with settings, making adjustments, finding the best numbers to set, and burning through my 3 batteries. At one point I thought I found the Milky Way, but all I saw were dots… Heck, that was good enough for me!

This was my very first shot. 18mm, 30 Seconds, ISO 800, f/2.8.
Later in the evening I found out that 30 Seconds was too slow; the stars begin to trail at that shutter speed. 

Second shot. I’m told that’s the Thunderbird Resort in the distance.
I’ve always loved taking car light trails, but plane light trails? 

Third Shot. The ‘starscape'(?) facing the mountains seemed to be more detailed throughout the evening into the early morning… Why was that, considering that there would be more ‘light pollution’ from there?  
Here’s the Fourth Shot, completing the first shoot session of the night. Haze, generating rays of light, helped this shot. 

I was shooting at around 9-10pm that night, and fog and clouds began to show up. Turns out, that was good timing, because dinner was ready by around that time. Fellowship ensued.

We didn’t take note of the time, and I was getting sleepy. I remember taking the camera out to shoot once more, just to stay awake.

The clouds were a nice touch after all. 

There were only 7 of us, and there happened to be 7 tents available. It was a blessing to have a whole tent to myself. And again, look; the lights were so much stronger here, but how in the world did the stars pop out here more compared to when the camera was facing the open sea? 

I eventually slept, setting my alarm to 4:30am. I scrambled out of the tent to shoot at around 4:35am.

The clouds and fog were gone by this time. 4 out of the 7 men were still knocked out at this point. The 2 other brothers who were still awake went away to check out a fishing boat coming back to the shore. Later, I heard they caught a shark. 

Hello, Orion. The stuff you learn from Men In Black.
Far as I remember Betelgeuse is Orion’s head, and those are the Pleiades near his belt. 

The sun eventually showed its light to a point signalling the end of this shoot, at 5:15am. 

After this wonderful night, I’ve learned:

  • That the X-E2 could be pushed to ISO 6400 to produce shots that would still be acceptable to me. 
  • 30 Seconds is too long, if you want to avoid trailing. 20-25 seconds would be good. 
  • Aperture could change the whole shot dramatically even with a one-stop adjustment. 
  • The X-E2’s built in level is a great help. dpreview may say it isn’t always reliable, but I’d definitely use it to help when my tripod need to stand on sand. 

There may be more, but I’m definitely looking forward to the next opportunity to shoot the stars.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: