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Behind The Lens Of Astrophotographer Nigel A Ball

Find out more about Nigel A Ball and his amazing astrophotography with Nikon lenses.

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Behind The Lens Of Astrophotographer Nigel A Ball: Nigel Ball

Image © Nigel Ball

Nigel A Ball uses a select few specially selected lenses to partake in astrophotography with the D810A DSLR, which is specially designed for photographing the stars. The 14-24mmf/2.8G ED, 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED and 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR are his weapons of choice. 

Nigel was inspired by the Apollo moon missions - it was these that sparked his interest in astronomy. A few years later photography was brought into the equation by his father. 

Nikon recently asked Nigel about his experiences with the Nikon D810A. "The first things that strike you – apart from the 36-megapixel resolution – are the extremely low noise, and the fact that it's much more sensitive to hydrogen-alpha wavelengths, so you can see all the true colours of the nebulae. This is usually an issue with DSLRs, as they have a red-light reduction filter in front of the sensor to balance colours accurately for daylight imaging, and this cuts down on the transmission of light from the hydrogen-alpha wavelength, which is the wavelength of the red in many nebulae.

On the D810A this filter has been modified so it's around four times more sensitive to these wavelengths. It's also got a long-exposure manual mode as well as Bulb, and you can take as many shots in continuous shooting mode as you can fit on your card, which is great for minimising gaps in star trails.", he says.

Nigel also shared some top tips on perfecting your night photography. "For night shots you need to really think about the composition – you need some points of interest in the shot, so it's best to try out compositions beforehand. I'll try to go in daylight for a recce, but if that's not possible I start off with a few ISO 25,000 exposures to see how best to frame the scene. I prefer night landscapes, but I do some town and village scenes. 

Light pollution is the number one problem for astrophotography – even in the depths of the countryside, a small village a few miles away can cause an orange glow. One of the darkest places I've ever been to is the Elan Valley in mid-Wales – it's officially the world's first public-access, privately owned Dark Sky Park."

Despite the notion that astrophotography is difficult, Nigel urges people to get out there and give it a go. It can be quite hard to get outstanding results, but it's not so hard to make a start.

Read the full article on the Nikon In Frame website

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PRC Avatar
PRC 9 399 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2017 10:18AM

Quote:Nigel was inspired by the Apollo moon missions - it was these that sparked his interest in astrology.
I suspect the moon missions sparked an interest in astronomy, not astrology Grin
joshwa Avatar
joshwa Plus
13 927 1 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2017 2:54PM
Thanks, this has been corrected Smile

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