The Namibian night sky is spectacular. Last night at Gondwana Canyon Village I had a first try at shooting the stars. I took this image right next to the cottage we were staying in.
Camera was the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 12mm F/2 wide angle prime. I put the camera on a tripod, set the 12 second self timer (to avoid camera shake) and dialed in a 60 second exposure time at F/3.2 and ISO 400. I manually focused the lens to infinity. These are good starting points for some trial and error. For composition (as it was pitch dark in the direction I was looking) I lit the rocks with a torch while positioning the camera on the tripod, then turned off the light while taking the image. The lighting on the rocks came from the small walkway lights in my back of Gondwana Canyon Village, so I did not need to manually paint the foreground with my torch.
In lightroom I increased the white point to bring out the details in the milky way, opened the shadow up a tad, then adjusted the grad curves until I was happy with the results.
At next opportunity I will try a reduced shutter speed (like 1/30 sec) to make the stars more crisp while turning up the ISO a bit.
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Next up will be a post about Fish River Canyon, so stay tuned!
Have a great weekend!