Critique 2019 Octoberfest – acnomad (Andy) – Hardcore - 55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor - Day 31 - A New Day + Epilogue

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Your thread is a great example of how a lens often dictates nothing more than an angle of view, Andy. I have often said so during these memes and here it is borne out again.
The variety in your last few images is terrific. The city skyline, a tabletop gourd shot and then the river trail are not the sort of set of images which one would expect to have been taken with a macro lens (choose one).

Well played.
Very kind, David. Many years ago, the 55 Micro was a fixture on my FM2. Over time, I came to use this lens only for work that can be described as "recording" rather than using it for the art of "seeing." Octoberfest has been the first time in decades that I have dedicated myself to shooting this lens, and it is quite satisfying to remind myself how versatile it is. And unlike the FM2, now I don't even need to agonize about how much time to add in the developing tank after being forced to underexpose the second half of a roll of Tri-X.
 
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17. Partial Appular Eclipse
This one should be titled "Having More Fun with Sunstars". :) In the first few seconds, I thought "another gourd" before realizing this was an apple (my old brain was helped eventually by a subtle hint given by the title of the photo.) Very creative approach to the traditional "fruit on a tree" shot. Well done.
 
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Hey Andy, reading your title, I googled 'eclipse' just to make sure I hadn't missed anything today! :eek:

Apples are everywhere these days, and nothing says October like a crisp sweet/tart apple! Wonderful contre jour* photography.

Literally "into the day", but I think it has been co-opted by photographers to mean backlit. Sounds more esoteric though. Either way, I like this pic!
 
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18. Rotation
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I was up well before dawn this morning, so I thought I'd make another night sky image. No special location - just my backyard, placing the North Star in the upper right hand corner and capturing frames continuously for 45 minutes. Discarded frames from the beginning of the session due to tripod movement and the end due to increasing twilight. Final result is a stack of 44 frames taken during a 23-minute period, each one a 30-second exposure at ISO 1600. The first 20 frames were at f/16, while the other 24 frames were at f/2.8 due to (sigh) a careless error on my part. Postprocess workflow was as follows:
  1. Lightroom
    • Equalized exposure between the f/16 and the f/2.8 frames
    • Corrected vignetting in the f/2.8 frames
    • Reduced noise and increased contrast for all frames
    • Cloned out unwanted streaks from aircraft in 4 of the frames
  2. StarStax
    • Gap Filling Mode
    • Tweaked threshold and amount sliders to taste
  3. Lightroom
    • Global adjustments of contrast and white balance
    • Local adjustments to remove previously unnoticed aircraft streaks within the tree
    • Local adjustments to bring out some detail in the leaves of the tree
 
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Great shot Andy! I've never tried it, but it sounds like a lot of PP work. Plus my favorite constellation is Orion, so I'd end up pointing at Betelgeuse, instead of over at the North star and big Dipper. :)
 
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Good job! Yea sounds like a lot of work. My first thought was where is the North Star? Maybe it was lost in the processing.
 
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Good job! Yea sounds like a lot of work. My first thought was where is the North Star? Maybe it was lost in the processing.
I thought the same thing! But the NEF files seem to show it in every frame. Scrolling through them in a "time lapse" fashion, it doesn't appear to move. So I reviewed some of my star trail shots from over the years, and it's difficult to say from a wide angle image, but perhaps Polaris is not precisely at the center of those either. I'll put an image in the bucket with the arrow pointing to what I think is Polaris. Let me know what you think...
 
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I have NOT DONE star trails myself, I APPRECIATE all the work in that, I LOVE looking at the output and I KNOW polaris is not exactly at the rotational axis and therefor leaves a trail itself.
Thanks, Roland. After @skidoo pointed it out, I did a little digging on the internet, and learned that Polaris is not precisely at the North Celestial Pole. It's within 1 degree of it, and relatively bright (48th brightest), thus earning its moniker. Something else I learned: the elevation of Polaris is your latitude, so if you're at the North Pole, it's directly overhead, if you're at 42 degrees North latitude like I am, it's 42 degrees above the horizon. If you're at the equator, it's sitting on the horizon. If you're down under, you can't see it at all.
 
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