Photo Walk: Scavenger Hunt, May 2021

We recently had a Scavenger Hunt photo walk around the University campus, where participants were given a list of 12 topics to inspire their photos at the start of the walk. The plan had originally been to take these photos anywhere between Dunedin and Lawrence over a few hours, but the weather was so wet that we decided to stick to somewhere where we could find shelter quickly! We hope you enjoy the results.

  • Nicola

Astrophotography and Field Trip

The NatMAT group have organised an Astrophotography trip, open to all members, which should be a great night out! Judith Swann has also put together some very handy information to look through before the night, so have a read and start preparing 💫⭐✨

Image by Trevor Douglas

When: Meeting at 1800h on Saturday 12th June 2021 depending on the cloud cover. We will have another look at the weather on Saturday morning and if we need to cancel we’ll let you know, otherwise see you Saturday evening.

Where: Aramoana. Meet at the memorial carpark. Hereabouts: https://what3words.com/waterfalls.goalie.hubcap.

Moon, sun and tide.

The new moon is on the 10th June, so on the 11th and 12th it will still be basically moonless and dark. On the 11th and 12th sunset is at 1658h; moonset is at 1718h and 1805h; and the tide will be falling. High tide is at 1520h and 1600h.

What photos could I take?

Stars – https://www.flickr.com/photos/emmakey/34495994481
Star trails – https://www.flickr.com/photos/joedsilva/6132188906
Milky Way – https://www.southproud.co.nz/listing/aramoana-beach/
Foreground
Light painting
Reflections (in the wet sand)

How do I take these images?

You keep yourself and those around you SAFE

Dark – It will be DARK

Safety: Think about your safety. Bring a RED LIGHT torch our eyes take longer to adjust to the dark after looking at white light compared to red light. It is also very easy to get temporarily blinded by white light. Put fresh batteries in your torch. Remember Sea Lions use the sand and they don’t leave just because it is dark! Check before you take a step backwards.
Lights: Folks around you may NOT want your torch on just so you can make adjustments to your camera. Practice beforehand so you can change your camera settings by touch. Talk to each other about putting lights on.
Focus: Focusing in the dark is really hard. Find out if your camera will do focus magnification and turn it on. Teach yourself how to turn on manual focus by touch! On site, find a star and manually focus on it until it is crisp pin point of light.

Cold – More than likely it will be COLD

Layers: Taking astro photos can involve quite a lot of standing around, in the cold, doing very little. You will get cold. Wear some warm layers, bring more, including a wind-proof layer. Hat, scarf, gloves, chemical hand warmer pouches, something to sit or kneel on if you think you’ll need it.
Camera & Batteries: Your camera gear will get cold, and cold batteries don’t work so well. Take some spare batteries and keep the spares in a warm pocket. Putting a cold camera into a warm car risks inducing condensation inside the lens and/or camera. A Ziploc plastic bag or dry-bag with a silica gel sachet in and a plan to warm up your camera slowly will reduce this risk. (https://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/how-to-protect-your-digital-camera-in-cold-weather)

Movement – The subject (the sky) moves and your camera is at risk of movement

Subject movement: Actually it is the earth that is moving (turning) while the sky stays still! We perceive this as the stars moving. Photographing this movement is how you get star trails. If you want points of light for stars your exposure time needs to be less than about 25 seconds.
Camera movement: The long exposure time means you have to hold your camera completely still so a tripod, bean bag or similar is essential. Remember your cable release, or work out how to use the timer on your camera. Work this out in the light and warmth of home before you set out.

Stars / Milky Way

https://www.capturelandscapes.com/how-to-photograph-stars/
https://digital-photography-school.com/beginners-tips-for-night-sky-and-star-photography/
https://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and-explore/a/tips-and-techniques/photographing-the-night-sky.html

These articles are good backgrounders to taking images of the stars. Read about wide open aperture (f/4 or lower if you can get), higher ISO (1600 and up), longer exposure times (10 – 30 seconds), and white balance to 3200Kelvin (if you can). Then also read the pros and cons of each of these variables in this situation.

Star Trails

https://nightskypix.com/how-to-photograph-star-trails/
https://www.lightstalking.com/how-to-photograph-star-trails/
https://learnandsupport.getolympus.com/learn-center/photography-tips/astrophotography/astrophotography-101

Star trails use very similar settings but are taken for longer so your camera captures the movement of the stars OR you take a number of star photos and stack them together to make the star trails.

Milky Way

The techniques and settings for stars usually work for the Milky Way as well. One difference is learning where the Milky Way will be, at the location you’ll be at and at the time you’ll be there.
The videos on this site (https://www.davemorrowphotography.com/p/tutorial-shooting-night-sky.html) describe using free apps and programmes (Blue Marble, The Photographers Ephemeris (TPE), Google Maps, Stellarium) to work out where the Milky Way will be.
The Milky Way should be just to the seaward side of Taiaroa Head at about 1900-1930h on the 111th and 12th June.

Light Painting

https://digital-photography-school.com/add-more-interest-astrophotography-with-light-painting/
Bring along an led light source (torch, head lamp, panel) so you can add some more light in the foreground.

Aurora

http://www.aurora-service.net/aurora-school/how-to-photograph-the-aurora/
Just in case!!!

More details?

Have a look at these sites.

Stars:
https://www.davemorrowphotography.com/p/tutorial-shooting-night-sky.html

Star Trails:
https://www.davemorrowphotography.com/2012/03/StarTrailsPhotographyTutorial.html
https://www.photopills.com/articles/star-trails-photography-guide#step5

Milky Way:
https://www.photopills.com/articles/milky-way-photography-guide

What’s On: June 2021

Super Moon by David Steer

Winter has just about officially begun, heralded in by a very cold blood moon last week. David Steer captured this impressive image earlier that evening, featuring the moon in full queen mode before she started blushing and hiding behind the earth 😊 Inspiration for us all to get out there for the upcoming Astrophotography workshop this month! Please note: there’s been a change in content for our meeting on 14 June, but we’ll still be at Mornington.

DateActivityDetailsLocation
7:30pm, Monday 7 June  (no meeting for Queen’s Birthday)
 
6 – 8:30pm, Friday 11 OR Saturday 12 June (details TBC – depending on cloud cover)Field Trip: Astrophotography – Stars – Star Trails – Milky Way – Light PaintingHosted by the NatMAT groupAramoana
7:30pm, Monday 14 June  Club meeting: Practical session  Print of the Month: Open  Mornington Presbyterian Community Centre, 16 Maryhill Tce  
7:30pm, Monday 21 June  Focus group meetings   Zoom and various  
7:30pm, Monday 28 June  Club meeting: Speaker – Robert Scott, In Plain View: a comparison of simple versus complex approaches in the art industry  Projected Image of the Month: Out of focus  Mornington Presbyterian Community Centre, 16 Maryhill Tce  

Current programme.

  • Nicola

Projected Image Exhibition – May 2021

The results of our Projected Image Exhibition were shown at our most recent meeting – massive congratulations to Gary McClintock for producing the Champion images in both the Open and the Natural History categories! What a coup! Congratulations to everyone else for their accepted and awarded images, and many thanks to our judges Graham Dainty and Mike Boyd-Clark for their selections and appraisals. And lastly, thanks very much to our Projected Image Secretary, Melanie Dick, for putting the whole exhibition together, and for producing these slideshows to show our great results! Enjoy 🙂

  • Nicola

What’s On: May 2021

Sandymount by Nicola Pye

It seems ridiculous, but we’re just about in May already! This is the first month of the year when a public holiday hasn’t bumped one of our activities, so keep your Mondays free 🙂

DateActivityDetailsLocation
7:30pm, Monday 3 May  View Finder #9: Tim Flach – How to Evoke Empathy Through Animal Portraiture Zoom
7:30pm, Monday 10 May  Club meeting: Helen Westerbeke – My Journey to Fellowship  Projected Image Of The Month: Repetition  Mornington Presbyterian Community Centre, 16 Maryhill Tce  
7:30pm, Monday 17 May  Focus group meetings   Zoom and various  
7:30pm, Monday 24 May  Projected Image Exhibition Selectors: Graham Dainty (Open) and Mike Boyd-Clark (NH) Mornington Presbyterian Community Centre, 16 Maryhill Tce  
10am, Saturday 29 MayField Trip: Autumn in Lawrence and surrounds  

Current programme.

  • Nicola

What’s On: April 2021

Panos from Mou Waho by Nicola Pye

Apologies for the phone pics, but I wanted to show off the amazing landscape that Anastasia took us to recently, and to thank her for organising such a great trip to Wanaka and Mou Waho. If you haven’t been there before, you must! And if you haven’t been away on a DPS trip, I can’t promise such perfect surrounds and weather every time, but we usually find something interesting, so watch this space for details of the the next trip. Until then, here’s this:

DateActivityDetailsLocation
7:30pm, Monday 5 April  (no View Finder for Easter Monday)    
2pm, Saturday 10 AprilHuriawa Pa/Karitane photo walkMeet at 2pm in railway station car parkKaritane and Huriawa Pa
7:30pm, Monday 12 April  Club meeting: speaker exchange with Greymouth Photography Club, featuring Nicki Mora, Elizabeth Passuello and others  Print Of The Month: Open  Mornington Presbyterian Community Centre, 16 Maryhill Tce  
11:59pm, Saturday 24 AprilClosing date for Projected Image Exhibition submissionsMembers will be emailed details 
7:30pm, Monday 19 April  Focus group meetings   Zoom and various  
7:30pm, Monday 26 April  (no meeting for Anzac Day)    

Current programme.

  • Nicola