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Getting Creative

Lesson 16 from: Beginner's Guide to Astro Landscape Photography

Peter Baumgarten

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Lesson Info

16. Getting Creative

Lesson Info

Getting Creative

One of the things I like most about night sky photography is the fact that out of necessity, it forces you to slow everything right down, you can not come here with just a little bit of time on your hands in order to get the shot. You're working with slower shutter speeds, you're working with noise reduction often. During the day time I might be taking a hundred shots in an hour where as out here under these dark skies I might be taking ten in an hour, sometimes less, sometimes more. And that really makes me appreciate the environment that I'm in, but because I know I'm in here for the long haul, I, it also gives me an opportunity to get a little bit more creative in what I do. So, I'm gonna encourage you to let your creative juices flow and try something different while you're out here, 'cause lets face it, nobody can see anyway. You're out here by yourself or with a few group, or with a few friends that probably able to see in your corky side anyway. So, some of the times, some of th...

e things that I'd like to do are perhaps bring a couple of props in, and use them in my foreground, things that you might not consider for, you know, an astro shot. Sometimes including people on your shots can add an extra dimension, but consider either photographing yourself, come up with a creative selfie or if you're with someone else, incorporate them into your shot, that can be a little challenging because in the process of working with longer shutter speeds, we need to make sure that they are also a still, for that during period of time, So being able to lean up against a rock, hold on to a tree, being in a seated position, those are ways that we can ensure that people are steady for your shot, that they're not moving too much, and add a focal point to your composition. Right, and sometimes including a person helps to tell a story, there's a human connection there that we all seem to be drawn to. After you've captured some of those great astro landscape shots, slow everything down and try to get, let your creative juices flow and I find being out at night where I know the light's not going to change, I can sort of start thinking creatively. And normally I'm out by myself and I have to use props or myself and so on, but I've got a whole production team here for this, and I asked Tika, out production assistant, if she wouldn't mind standing in in one of these shots. So I positioned the camera quite low here, got this great rock, you know, kinda with a neat angle to it, and there's the Milky Way right above her head, and I've turned the camera into vertical position, and I'm ready to try to capture a shot that will hopefully tell a bit of a story, right, I love the human element in images. And, so lets see what we can come up with Tika here. So, if we, so what I've done to begin with, I'm using the exact same settings that I would use for regular astro landscape shot, because the lighting here hasn't changed. I rechecked my focus, I got my model in position, and in order to make that a little easier, I've used the live view boost so that I can clearly see her even without all the lights on, I can see her clearly against the night sky, and that just makes composing the shot so much easier than doing it completely in the dark. All right, so, let's see what we get. Turn off those lights. (clicking sound) So I'm not gonna light her up. She is going to be a silhouette against that beautiful Milky Way. And let's have a look. Oh yeah, perfect. She's lined up perfectly with the horse in the Milky Way. And if you've, there's a bit of a horse profile in the main core of the Milky Way and she's right in it. I absolutely love this shot. And I think it looks great as a silhouette, I don't think I would wanna light her at all. And the neat thing is, I've got the Milky Way coming, emanating, sort of from her and going straight into the corner of the frame. And it's just absolutely perfect. All right, so, definitely try to use some of your creative thinking skills and come up with your own neat little astro shots.

Ratings and Reviews

Lana Froemming

I purchased the Creative Live + Olympus Step Outside Conference Bundle some time ago, and it has taken me this long (too long) to view the astrophotography class. Although not a beginner, I have been using Olympus gear (EPL5 & EM1) for about 7 years now, I have only dabbled in astrophotography – and as a result, blown my fair share of what should have been killer shots. When I did give it a go, I obtained most of my settings’ tips by combing through Peter’s blog posts and then racing out the door. Although I feel that I know my camera pretty well I still learned so much from this course. I appreciate that he walked the viewer through multiple night time photography events including shooting the milky way, the moon, aurora, meteor showers & star trails as well as talked about the different camera features including night sky panoramas, in-camera multiple exposures, live comp & time lapse and presented a variety of lens choices and why (plus so much more). What I love about Creative Live is that once you purchase a “class” you own it and can return to your classroom over, and over again. I also appreciate that they work with experts who are also amazing teachers. Peter is one of those.

Doug Marshall

Some classes are just fantastic and this is one of them! Peter Baumgarten is a wonderful presenter of his extensive knowledge, experience and passion for the subject. This is a course I will return to watch again and again. Highly recommended if you are like me and are interested in getting into astrophotography and landscape.

elizabeth chambers

To my way of thinking this was the best photographic genre instructor featured during the Olympus Step Outside series. He may be a more seasoned instructor than the photographers demonstrating landscape and bird photography. Whatever the reason, I thought he seemed to understand his audience particularly well. Great advice and the post processing was interesting. Likely because of my familiarity with Lightroom, I found the post production done by the bird and landscape photographers rather mundane whereas the astro photography post production was new and interesting to me.

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