Compact digital cameras are a little like haiku. With both, there is a seemingly infinite amount of expression that can be coaxed from a device for creativity whose form is subject to certain dictates. In haiku, there is a narrow path defined for words by number of on. In compact digital photography, the narrow path for light is determined by optics, sensors and software.

That being said, it doesn’t mean we don’t try to push the limits of what these little  electronic wonders can do. Below are attempts at stretching the cameras into capturing the clear and cloudless night skies that appear with autumn’s Canadian cold fronts.* (see disclaimers below)

CITY GLOW — Even 18 miles outside of downtown Little Rock, there’s still the glow of the metropolis.
MILKY WAY — An attempt to capture the Milky Way.

* Disclaimer I: Owner’s manual? What’s that?
* Disclaimer II: These photos do not capture the sheer not-in-vain OH MY GOD! awe of the night sky. I never tire of gazing admiringly at the immensity above.

11 thoughts on “Night skies

    1. The top photo was a 30-second exposure at f3.5, ISO 125. The second photo was f2.0, 400 ISO for 80 seconds. You can see the star streaks — even as little as 30 seconds is, i guess, enough to show the earth’s rotation! We’re still trying to figure this all out. Both cameras have “starry” sky settings, but that just doesn’t seem to work well. Didn’t use a tripod for either. Just set the cameras out on the table, lens up and let ’em capture light! Good luck with yours!

      1. Thank you for the technical details. I’ll give it another go. Out on a table, lens up is a good idea – lying underneath a tripod to see if the camera’s pointed in the right direction is an impossibility for me these days!.

        Because of all the humidity in the air here we never get skies like I remember in the Northern US and Canada in the winter, or the Australian outback, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens when I go out of town next weekend.

    1. You have a great memory! I need to mention the top photo was taken with the Sony DSC-H10 and the bottom photo with the Lumix. The Lumix is unsurpassed (among the compacts) for wide angle shooting.

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