Abandoned Truck near Mountain Home, Ar

Forgotten truck, Mountain Home, Ar

I pass by this old truck on my way to work everyday. I thought it would make an interesting foreground for a picture that included the Milky Way, however from it’s location I would get too much light pollution from Mountain Home.  After I looked up the relative positions of the truck and where the Milky Way is, I scrapped the idea of this shoot. But, everyday I drive right by it and think, that would be a cool shot. So, I ended up shooting a 35 min exposure with the northern sky in the frame. Here is how I did it.

I use dark sky finder ( http://www.jshine.net/astronomy/dark_sky/ ) to find where we need to set up and shoot. then I use an app callled stellarium http://www.stellarium.org/ to find all of the relevant info about the night sky that i will need to plan the shoot. it will tell you when the moon is up, where the milky way will be etc. it is a great app.

For the actual shoot, we set up about an hour after dark, tripod mount your camera ( for me it was a 5dmkiii). I used a intervolometer to trigger my camera. It was a 30 second exposure at f8 at iso8000 ( i was testing out the 5d3 high iso settings). Then I set the intervolometer to take a picture for 30 seconds and then pause for 1 second, and repet for 35 min.It was quite cold that night , in the 40’s I beleive, and my lens started fogging up near the end. If I had brought my hand warmers I could have kept the front elements of the camera warmer and that would have prevented the condensation on the front elements.

After the shoot, i loaded all the images into lightroom, did basic  exposure, color balance, and noise reduction to the images. Then simply hit command+a to select all images, and right click and edit as layers in photoshop. Once all the images are open in photoshop, just change the layer blending to lighten for all the images except the last one. Voila, a 35 min stacked exposure. Flatten the images and save.

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