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Here is a comparison of the "Streak" mode of Advanced Stacker PLUS with averaging enabled (on the right) and disabled (on the left).
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Learn how to create star trails using a variety of free and low cost tools.

What You'll Learn

...

* Equipment recommendations.
* Camera settings for shooting star trails
* Recommended workflow
* What "Stacking Is"
* How to create star trail images using free tools - StarStax (free)
* How Moonlight affects your shot(s).
* Some sneaky processing tips
* How to overcome common problems
* How to do Advanced Processing using the StarCircleAcademy Stacking Action(s).
* Links to great resources

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MAR7
Wed 7:00 PM PSTOnline Webinar

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We are moving our StarCircleAcademy.com (and AdvancedStackerPlus.com) websites from HostGator to SiteGround due to persistent outages. Our site will be inaccessible for up to 24 hours while DNS gets fixed and we iron out any wrinkles.

We appreciate your patience during this period.

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Posts

Some lessons learned trying to shoot lunar eclipses over 8 years. Seems some lessons are hard learned....

First experiences trying to shoot a total lunar eclipse: Surprised by an unexpected break in the weather. The shooting process repeated on two other lunar eclipses. Hopefully you can learn from my …
starcircleacademy.com

If you tried to attend our Introduction to Night Photography Webinar last night but ran into problems of any kind, would you please reply here and tell us what the problem was?

We were trying out a new provider and noticed at least the following issues:

1.Unable to register on a page that contained a ton of questions, including in Chinese....
2. Unable to find the password to the event.
3. Others had trouble finding the chat/raise hand during the live event.

Even if your issue was items 1, 2 or 3, please mention it here so we can address all the concerns.

PS: We will be releasing brand new notes for the event soon - those of you who purchased the notes already will get a new set of notes with even more pointers, links and resources.

We will be repeating the event in April, stay tuned.

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This is a free Webinar for you to gain insight and inspiration into night photography. We will also tackle viewer questions. But remember this only lasts an hour so we will be hitting highlights n…
starcircleacademy.com

So you've no doubt heard about the "Super Blue Blood Moon". Here are some numbers to digest if you're planning to shoot it:

From First umbra contact (3:48 AM PT) to last umbra contact ( 7:11 PT - the end of the eclipse) the moon will travel from 261 degrees Az and 40 degrees Alt to 290' x 1 degree. Of course those numbers depend exactly where you are.

If you want to capture the entire eclipse sequence you'll need a view that spans about 35 degress x 45 degrees.That's appro...ximately the same as a 35mm lens on a full frame camera. Of course if you shoot it that way, the moon will be very small since it is only 1/2 of a degree in angular diameter. Our numbers were calculated assuming 37 degrees northern latitude.

NOTE: For the Pacific Timezone, the moon reaches Perigee (its closest to the earth) at nearly 2:00 AM. Full moon is at 5:26 AM - 3 and a half hours after Perigee, so this "super moon" is the least super of many prior super moons. It also means the apparent diameter of the moon will be the largest at 2:00 AM.

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Our near neighbor, the moon or Luna, found itself sulking in earth's shadow on October 8, 2014. When in shadow, it became possible to see our most distant neighbor that is visible to the naked eye: Uranus (lower left). Uranus takes 84 years to orbit the sun, but has a 17 hour rotation period. Unlike...
flickr.com

I know my top ten may not be the same as your top ten. After all what interests me may NOT interest you (though for the life of me I can't think why not!) As a Landscape Astrophotographer I tend to gravitate to interesting views, unusual geology, natural landscapes and places where the sky is dark and clear at night. [ 1,805 more word ]

http://starcircleacademy.com/2018/01/top-ten-landscapes/

The top ten most interesting photography locations in the Western United States. Hand picked locations that offer dark skies (most at least), compelling vistas and scenery – and when you shou…
starcircleacademy.com

Speaking of workshops, There are currently two spaces left for our Dark of the Moon workshop with Harold Davis in the Eastern Sierras beginning September 7, 2018.

https://www.meetup.com/Harold-Davis/events/244904313/

9/7, 3:00 PM: Three nights; arriving Friday, September 7, 2018 and departing Monday, September 10, 2018***Some participants may choose to arrive late and/or depart early, if necessary for work-related
meetup.com

Our friend, Rogelio Bernal Andreo is giving a PixInsight workshop. Curious how to use this photo processing tool (in addition to or instead of Photoshop)? Rogelio can tell you! Not sure if there is availability this and next week, but take a look and see.

http://www.deepskycolors.com/…/deep-sky-image-processing-wi…

Attention: Our hosting service HostGator, is having a problem. You may get a strange error like "504 Gateway Time-out" or "Unable to Connect to Data base" if you attempt to visit our site. They assure me they are working on it. We apologize for the inconvenience:

http://starcircleacademy.com

Night and Low Light Photography Tips, Webinars, Field Events and Workshops
starcircleacademy.com

Me (to wife): "My head is unstable and I have ordered a new, $300 one." (wife): "I knew about the instability, but I didn't realize you could buy a new one." If you search around the internet you will find plenty of product reviews. One of the best reviews I ever read said something like this: "Save one thousand dollars by buying the right gear now instead of later". [ 1,638 more word ]

http://starcircleacademy.com/…/you-need-a-good-head-and-gr…/

Can you really afford to NOT have a good set of legs? There is more to just nice legs, you also need to have a good head. Things to consider when selecting and using a tripod.
starcircleacademy.com

We need to start with a definition. What is noise? A reasonable, widely excepted definition is that noise is any artifact or defect that reduces the overall fidelity of an image. But this definition is too broad because defects like glare and chromatic aberration would be included. Glare and chromatic aberration are caused by the optical system, not by the sensor. [ 2,113 more words ]

http://starcircleacademy.com/2017/12/deathtonoise/

Noise and night photography go hand in hand. But there is a lot more (and a lot less) to noise than might be obvious. In this companion material to the Down with the Noise webinar we detail some …
starcircleacademy.com

There is still some processing to finish from our last workshop...

During the first full night of our Workshop in Alabama Hills, the wind was fierce. Really fierce. It blew over 4 of the two dozen tripods (not mine, fortunately). How I defended against the wind is the subject of an upcoming article on the website. The streak of foreground light is from one of the s...
flickr.com

We have many articles on panoramas. Creating a Night Panorama Panorama Pursuit Improving Your Panoramas Lickety Stitcher in Lightroom + Panoramas IN Lightroom The point of this article is to describe the multi-row panorama apparatus I created with off-the-shelf, inexpensive parts from Amazon. The good news is assembly is pretty simple. When you are done you will have a gimbal style mount suitable for taking multi-row panoramas using a modestly sized camera/lens combination. [ 1,222 more word ]

http://starcircleacademy.com/2017/11/multi-row-panorama-rig/

Interested in creating panoramas by combining shots? Consider an inexpensive multi-row panorama configuration from off-the-shelf parts. Or look into a pre-built system.
starcircleacademy.com

Maybe we should start by explaining Lickety Split. Lickety Split is US English slang for fast so "Lickety Stitcher" is our contrived slang for a fast image stitcher. Image stitching is what you do to create a large image out of several smaller, overlapping images. We've reported how much we like the FREE Microsoft Image Composite Editor (aka ICE) for stitching images because it is faster and more accurate than Photoshop's Photomerge or Lightroom's new, but sometimes anemic Photomerge. [ 658 more words ]

http://starcircleacademy.com/…/lickety-stitcher-in-lightro…/

Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE) is swanky and very free. If you want to “quick try” a panorama it’s hard to beat this tip. If you want to make a full-bore huge panorama, it…
starcircleacademy.com

Article on multi-row panorama coming in 2 weeks. In two days an article on how to "Quick Stitch" using Lightroom settings/plugin.

This is 22 images - a multi row panorama. Click the image for details on settings and more.

This is nearly 180 degrees wide view from Asilomar State Beach, California. The prior image was 6 images. This one is 25 (well, almost, had to reshoot a few intervening images due to blow outs from car headlights). I used my new multi-row panorama rig for this. All images were 10 seconds, ISO 1600,…
flickr.com

To astro-process or not? We are not big fans of glaringly processed night sky shots... here is a comparison. There are certainly elements of the astro image we like. What about you?

Both of these photos are from the same image. The top is processed as an astrophotography image - primarily using Astro Flats Pro from ProDigital Software, and the bottom image is the same, only processed in Lightroom. The slender setting crescent moon created a LOT of light and made it a little har...
flickr.com