Where and Why

Over a year since the last post – that’s what a busy work schedule will do for you!
This was a quick ‘n’ dirty evening of astro photography in September 14th 2023. Wentworth Falls is not really dark enough for serious astro work, but it was a good opportunity to refresh the skills again after so long away from the camera.

This was a small gathering from the Blue Mountains Photography Group and included some experienced and some first timers. We had to settle for the area next to the Conservation Hut rather than the better spot of the parking area (being reconstructed) near the track to the Falls themselves.

The worst aspect of the spot was the lack of useful and interesting foreground. This consisted of either a corner of the Conservation Hut building(!) or the nearby and medium distance gum trees – all blowing around in the 15-20kph wind. Add to that the street lighting just behind us, and it was challenging to get any interesting shots.

However, my main interest was to practice shots of the galactic centre at different ISO and shutter settings, plus perfecting a method to ensure a sharp focus.
So ignore the foreground in these few shots and focus on the GC, because I learned a lot about how much I can push my camera in this context which will stand me in good stead in the next astro session which probably won’t be until the 2024 Milky Way season (Feb- Nov).

I used two lens on the night: a Nikon 20mm f1.8 and my Irix 15mm f2.8 – The Irix is a very solid lens for astro – easy to focus properly for infinity, but it does introduce a little bit of fish-eye effect.
Post editing was all done in Lightroom Classic and different approaches results in the differing end results that you see here.



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