by John Rodger
Astrophotography is a wonderful field of photography that also requires a lot of patience and dedication and did I mention travelling to distant places, but the results can be spectacular. On a recent visit to that amazing place the Tankwa Karoo I had a clear night sky and nobody else for miles. (Being alone in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a moonless night can be a bit scary let me tell you. There are lots of strange sounds that come from the bush) My ultimate goal was to do a landscape astrophoto using a windmill in the foreground. The result was okay although there was a bit of shake and my foreground was underexposed somewhat. This is the thing about astrophotography though, you don’t always get it right but you learn every time and that is what it is all about.
In case anybody was wondering what the difference between astrophotography and landscape astrophotography is, well astrophotography is usually a single exposure of the night sky usually capturing some landscape feature often as a silhouette while landscape astrophotography involves taking a number of different exposures of the sky and foreground using different focus points and exposure settings and then combining all of this in photoshop to create one image showing the night sky and an often stunning and lit landscape scene.
I also think my equipment could be better but that will have to wait. I used my trusty old Nikon D700 with a Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 lens shooting wide at 24mm. Like all specialized photography fields though, equipment does matter and there are some fantastic cameras and lenses but they are expensive. A Nikon D810 and A Tamron SP 15-30 f2.8 Di VC USD lens would do very nicely though.