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Frank's Flailing (updated)

Update in September--I finally got off my butt and went out to some dark skies.  The first time was up in Oregon.  Clear air, not much light pollution 60 miles east of Portland.  But I hadn't planned on astrophotography, so I only had a f/4 wide-angle with me.   Removing the noise was well beyond my skills. 

Back in San Diego, I drove out to Julian and thought the sky was acceptably dark.  Sagittarius was just about over San Diego, though, so I still got a lot of light pollution.  Shooting with an f/2.8 lens, though, made all the difference.  ISO was 3200, camera body a Canon 5D3.  

The f/1.4 lens, though, is da bomb.  Both of these wides are the Rokinons Ian recommended, and I'm very happy with them.  Focusing in the dark is my biggest problem (aging eyes) and next time I may shoot tethered just so I can see what's going on. 

I pushed the contrast pretty hard on this last one, using ColorEfexPro's Tonal Contrast filter.  Thoughts?  I know it's more dramatic, but it loses something, too.  (Authenticity??)  I'd welcome any comments or advice.

One more thing--in my cover photo, which is kinda small, you can see a galaxy!  Probably Andromeda, though I can't say since I wasn't really paying attention to the constellations behind the Milky Way.  I'm amazed what these cameras can pick up.

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