The lack of posts have been down to the weather, we have had a lot of gales and the other week Storm Gertrude hit with 120 mph winds. In addition to that it has been very cold, most of the time hovering around freezing both day and night, so night driving has been an issue with icy roads.
Any way I did get out to do a bit of star trail photography down the road in Sandwick next to the beach. It was dark with no moon so I set the wide angle lens up on the Nikon D7000 and left it running at 30 second intervals for an hour at ISO 800 looking out over a couple of boats.
After I also took 15 dark frames to reduce the noise. Its no good using noise reduction in the camera as the camera would be unusable for another 30 seconds after the photo was taken so would produce large gaps in the star trail. Ideally it should be at the same temperature so a dark frame subtraction would be better to use but I have found it better to take dark frames after the session.
The last couple of days have produced weak auroras but these have been in the very early hours when I have been asleep. I have been out in the day and now have found a couple of locations I would like to take either star trails or aurora photos, its always nice to have something in the foreground.
Focus issues still confuse people, even after explaining it a few times. Something I will be covering again in the next intermediate photography course next month which is now fully booked.
I finally after a lot of saving and debating, purchased a Nikon D610 (full frame) and a Samyang 14 mm lens. These have both been highly recommended for astrophotography, although in some cases the lens produces some very soft corners so I will be testing this out very soon.