Keep Looking Up

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I tend to run hot and cold on side projects like photography and blogging. I’m sure you can relate. We’re all really busy, and work, family, and yes, going out and shooting can get in the way of posting blog updates.

I’d hoped to get to Big Bend National Park this year to shoot the Milky Way, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen. Maybe next year.

But you never know when a great shot opportunity presents itself. That’s exactly what happened last month during our Florida trip. We were driving back and I happened to look out towards the beach, and to my surprise I could see the Milky Way. The light pollution maps appeared to show the area I was in as too bright, so I hadn’t thought much about trying to shoot, except maybe some star trails.

I’d never tried shooting the Milky Way, but I wasn’t going to pass an opportunity to try.

So I grabbed my faithful Nikon D5300 and MeFOTO tripod and headed to the beach.

Not the greatest Milky Way shot ever, but I’m pretty happy with it. Next time I’ll probably try multiple shots and some blending in post to knock out some noise.

Camera Calculations App – Download on the App Store

My fourth photography app, Camera Calculations, is now available on the App Store!

Camera Calculations icon - small

I’m fascinated by long exposure photography – day and night, but there’s usually some math involved. But it can be a pain to do calculations, especially when it’s cold and dark, and you’re worried about your gear and getting the shot.

It’s easy to make mistakes in the calculations, even if the formula you’re using isn’t too hard. But you have to remember each formula, and also how to take into account crop sensor factor (and what the factor is!) if you’re not shooting full frame.

And the formula for calculating f-stop difference when using Neutral Density filters isn’t exactly easy to remember.

This app is really four apps in one.

You can use the Timer for setting long exposures (up to 900 seconds, or 15 minutes). Start, stop, reset. Easy.

Timer Screen Shot - iPhone 8 Plus

The Shutter Speed Calculator for f-stop difference compensation, like when you’re using a Neutral Density filter to take long exposures – day or night. Just put in the starting Shutter Speed and the f-stop difference, and the app calculates your adjusted shutter speed.

Shutter Speed Calculator Screen Shot - iPhone 8 Plus

The Camera Shake Calculator is handy for knowing the recommended slowest shutter speed when shooting handheld, and you want to avoid blurry photos.

Camera Shake Screen Shot - iPhone 8 Plus

The 500 Rule Calculator helps you get the star photos you want. To do this, knowing how to calculate exposure times using the 500 Rule is essential, because you either want star trails in your shot, or be able to keep the stars sharp, with no trails.

500 Rule Calculator Screen Shot - iPhone 8 Plus

For Camera Shake and 500 Rule Calculator, the app takes into account whether or not you’re shooting full frame, general APS-C (1.5 crop factor), or Canon APS-C (1.6 crop factor), and standard focal lengths. The Camera Shake Calculator and 500 Rule Calculator give the exposure time in seconds.

These 2 calculators are easy to use and have 2 input factors needed from the user – focal length and crop factor.

Then if you’d like, switch to the timer screen and set the calculated time if you’d like to countdown, or you can use the timer screen if setting really long exposures. This timer counts down in seconds from 900 seconds (15 minutes), or any time between 0 and 15 minutes.

If you’ve ever been out taking photographs and set a long exposure, and wondered how much time you have left until the exposure will end, this is for you.

For example, if you’ve setup your camera and tripod and figured the correct shutter speed, but need to compensate for increased shutter speed due to Neutral Density filters or other changes, you may have struggled to keep track of the exact time before hitting the shutter release or remote button again. Or you may be standing in the dark, freezing, and wondering what exact exposure time to set, and once it’s set, how much time is remaining.

Download on the App Store by going to iTunes and searching for Camera Calculations, or click the link below. Hopefully one day I’ll develop a version to run on Android devices.

If you get it, please let me know what you think, and send suggestions for other apps!

600 Rule Calculator App – Download on the App Store

My third photography app, 600 Rule Calculator, is now available on the App Store!

I’m fascinated by star trail photography and also shooting the Milky Way. One way to calculate exposure times is by using the 500 Rule. Another way uses what’s called the 600 Rule to calculate exposure times. This is another method to try to have star trails in your shot, or be able to keep the stars sharp, with little or no trails.

But it can be a pain to do calculations, especially when it’s cold and dark, and you’re worried about your gear and getting the shot. It’s easy to make mistakes in the calculations, even if the 600 Rule formula isn’t too hard. But you have to remember it, and also how to take into account crop sensor factor (and what the factor is!) if you’re not shooting full frame.

600 Rule Calculator is the result.

600 Rule app icon 1024 x 1024 alpha

 

This app is useful for photographers wanting to know what exposure time to set for star photography (or astrophotography) using the 600 Rule formula. This is essentially the same as the 500 Rule, but uses a (very!) slightly different calculation.

The app also takes into account whether or not the user is shooting full frame, general APS-C (1.5 crop factor), or Canon APS-C (1.6 crop factor), and standard focal lengths. The 600 Rule Calculator gives the exposure time in seconds.

The calculator built into the app is easy to use and has 2 input factors needed from the user – focal length and crop factor.

600 Rule iPhone 7 calculator screenshot

Then if you’d like, switch to the timer screen and set the calculated time if you’d like to countdown, or you can use the timer screen if setting really long exposures. This timer counts down in seconds from 900 seconds (15 minutes), or any time between 0 and 15 minutes.

If you’ve ever been out taking photographs and set a long exposure, and wondered how much time you have left until the exposure will end, this is for you.

For example, if you’ve setup your camera and tripod and figured the correct shutter speed, but need to compensate for increased shutter speed due to Neutral Density filters or other changes, you may have struggled to keep track of the exact time before hitting the shutter release or remote button again. Or you may be standing in the dark, freezing, and wondering what exact exposure time to set, and once it’s set, how much time is remaining.

swipe to set the timer, then hit the green button to run.

This app does the calculation for you, and counts down based on the time you select. Or you can just use the 600 Rule calculator function.

Download on the App Store by going to iTunes and searching forĀ 600 Rule Calculator, or click the links on this page. Hopefully one day I’ll develop a version to run on Android devices.

If you get it, please let me know what you think, and send suggestions for other apps!

500 Rule Calculator App – Download on the App Store

My second photography app, 500 Rule Calculator, is now available. To download, click this link.

I haven’t yet gotten too far into really complicated photography projects, but one thing I’ve wanted to try is star trail photography and also shooting the Milky Way. To do this, knowing how to calculate exposure times using the 500 Rule is essential, because you either want star trails in your shot, or be able to keep the stars sharp, with no trails.

But it can be a pain to do calculations, especially when it’s cold and dark, and you’re worried about your gear and getting the shot. It’s easy to make mistakes in the calculations, even if the 500 Rule formula isn’t too hard. But you have to remember it, and also how to take into account crop sensor factor (and what the factor is!) if you’re not shooting full frame.

500 Rule Calculator is the result.

 

This app is useful for photographers wanting to know what exposure time to set for star photography (or astrophotography) using the 500 Rule formula.

The app also takes into account whether or not the user is shooting full frame, general APS-C (1.5 crop factor), or Canon APS-C (1.6 crop factor), and standard focal lengths. The 500 Rule Calculator gives the exposure time in seconds.

The calculator built into the app is easy to use and has 2 input factors needed from the user – focal length and crop factor.

only 2 inputs needed – focal length & crop factor

Then if you’d like, switch to the timer screen and set the calculated time if you’d like to countdown, or you can use the timer screen if setting really long exposures. This timer counts down in seconds from 900 seconds (15 minutes), or any time between 0 and 15 minutes.

If you’ve ever been out taking photographs and set a long exposure, and wondered how much time you have left until the exposure will end, this is for you.

For example, if you’ve setup your camera and tripod and figured the correct shutter speed, but need to compensate for increased shutter speed due to Neutral Density filters or other changes, you may have struggled to keep track of the exact time before hitting the shutter release or remote button again. Or you may be standing in the dark, freezing, and wondering what exact exposure time to set, and once it’s set, how much time is remaining.

swipe to set the timer, then hit the green button to run.

This app does the calculation for you, and counts down based on the time you select. Or you can just use the 500 Rule calculator function.

 

Download on the App Store by going to iTunes and searching forĀ 500 Rule Calculator, or click the links on this page. Hopefully one day I’ll develop a version to run on Android devices.

500 Rule Calculator

If you get it, please let me know what you think, and send suggestions for other apps!