Photoshop

Mike Takes On The Moose

Mike Takes On The Moose
  • If you’ve been following our reviews, you know we really like backpacks from MindShift Gear (a division of Think Tank Photo) because they work great for the adventures we like to do. I've been reviewing their packs for a few years now and the latest model I chose was the Moose Peterson MP-3 V2.0. There is a bigger version (than the MP-3 and a smaller version as well) but this model felt like the perfect size for my needs.

  • I'll be honest in saying that I did not buy this backpack. I had the opportunity to review it for MindShift Gear / Think Tank Photo and I was happy to do so. That said, I'm including my honest opinions on it without restraint. If there are areas where it did poorly, I will not hesitate to say so.

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Night Photography 2.0

Night Photography 2.0

For most people, night photography started with a digital camera…  following in the footsteps of others who inspired us to get out and shoot in the dark.  Our images were a little noisy and that reminded us that the higher ISO settings can give us more noise.  With that, we accepted that nightscape images are generally more noisy (than daytime landscape images) because of the limits of the cameras we have available.

Introducing Stacking To The World

Astronomers have had some ability to "stack" multiple exposures to reduce noise for years.  This is where we take advantage of the fact that the location of the noise dots on each exposure is different and this allows us to sort of "average" them together to get the noise dots to disappear where the points of light just reinforce each other.  The result is significant noise reduction - although the software that does this is generally very expensive and overly complicated.

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Stacking App Review - Finding The Best Stackers

Stacking App Review - Finding The Best Stackers

While astronomers have some good alternatives for stacking multiple exposures to reduce noise, the apps they use are generally expensive and complicated to use.  For these reasons, I tend to like using Photoshop to handle stacking my images.  Other options have been limited and hard to get excited about.  Over the past few years however, the quality of our options and my opinions of them have changed significantly.

Background
Wide-field astrophotographers have looked to Adobe Photoshop to handle their stacking needs for years.  It hasn't been a perfect fit but when combining 4 or so exposures to reduce noise, it's been an effective tool in reducing noise.  For those people who like to stack more than 4, staying with Photoshop pushes most people past the limits of their Photoshop skills.  And in looking at 3rd party alternatives, there simply haven't been good alternatives available since most of them are expensive and complicated to learn and use.

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How Do I Shoot A Great Panorama?

How Do I Shoot A Great Panorama?

While our workshops primarily focus on night photography, we get a lot of questions about how to capture a good panoramic sequence.  This may be because it's a common technique for reducing noise or because it's a great way to capture a scene with the Milky Way arcing across the sky but regardless we wanted to share some of our favorite techniques for capturing a great panorama.

Which Lens Should I Use?
A lot of this decision is left up to the artist and his/her vision for a photograph but we recommend anything from a 14mm to an 85mm focal length.  Generally speaking, a longer focal length (35mm or 50mm) will mean more images in the sequence which will result in better quality in the final results.  A shorter focal length (14mm or 20mm) will result in more distortion which may make the frames more difficult to stitch together but it will need fewer images in the sequence.  I generally recommend something in the 24mm to 50mm range because it gives good quality without having to capture a crazy number of frames… but again, this decision needs to consider the subject we're trying to capture.

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Recommended Techniques For Noise Reduction

Recommended Techniques For Noise Reduction

Why Is Noise Reduction Such a Big Deal?

Noise is a big consideration in shooting pictures at night.  We push our cameras to capture the best details possible in dark conditions and the result can often be a little noisy.  What can you do about it?  Well, part of the answer lies in the shooting techniques but there's more on the post-processing side as well.  In the end, photographers have some good options available to them.

One of the challenges in using noise reduction is that there are so many options available to us.  In-fact, with all the different approaches available for reducing noise in nightscape images, it can be a downright confusing to know what to use when.  Darren and Mike got together and tested some of the most common methods available to determine what would be best to recommend and when.

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Blending Multiple Exposures In Photoshop - Video Tutorial

Blending Multiple Exposures In Photoshop - Video Tutorial

A first ever release from Colorado Captures...  a video tutorial showing how to blend multiple exposures in Photoshop. It's intended more for night photography students but with several blending techniques included, it's useful for landscape and photographers in general.  Your sharing and feedback on this post is very much appreciated and encouraged.  :-)

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