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The Middle East - 2014

Trip #4 - Bethany-Beyond-the-Jordan, Jordan: I work for a church and one of our churches is in a somewhat isolated area and decided to see if star trail photos would work.  I used my Rokinon 14mm f/2.8.

Unfortunately, after reading a tutorial, I realized that I needed to turn off the noise reduction on my camera.

After that, I tried again, but from a different angle and was able to get a good photo, but unfortunately a lot of light pollution from Jericho.

Trip #3 - Nitzana, Israel:  I visited my family in the United States and picked up my Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 and this was the first chance I got to take photos with it.  I was much, much happier with the results of these photos then the last trip.

My husband was not happy about the cell tower directly below, but what can you do.  We'd never been to this particular place before (and probably won't be back), but it was good for our purposes.  


(Finding out that I'm not good at holding poses for a long period of time)


(My husband running back and forth with his iPhone and my headlamp)


(A picture that includes the Milky Way and the place we stayed at in the desert)

All of these photos are taken with a Canon Mark III and the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 between 8:30-9:30pm with a 30 second exposure, f/2.8, and ISO 6400.


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Trip #2 - The Negev Desert, Israel: A few of my friends and I headed to the Negev Desert to a place called Succah in the Desert.  I did not rent any lenses this time, so all of the shots were done with my 50mm f/1.8 or my 28mm f/1.4.  I did better this time!  Unfortunately, the conical abberations made a really noticable appearance in these photos.  So, of course, I've now ordered the Rokinon 14mm for my next trip which, hopefully will be in September.  

One of my main problems was keeping everything in focus (foreground and background).  

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Trip #1 - Wadi Rum, Jordan: So many lessons were learned on this trip.  So, so many lessons.  Like read everything five times, instead of two.  Try lenses out as soon as you get them so you feel comfortable.  All the things that I know, but didn't do this trip.  My husband says my photos look good, but I'm pretty sure our marriage vows require that.  In the end, I still found it exciting and am hoping that we can do it again in the near future. 

I was hoping to fix all the mistakes I made on the first two nights on the third night, but the cloud cover was complete and you couldn't see any stars.  The first two nights were absolutely stunning though - we could see the Milky Way with the naked eye.  

Here are my photos of the Center and Venus.  These were taken between 3:45-4:00am.

I tried to do a couple different things for my self-portrait.  Here's me pretending to pick stars out of the sky.

The kiss.  My husband was not a fan.

We also did a few photos with camels.  I didn't turn my ISO up high enough and kept my shutter speed lower because I figured that camels wouldn't sit still for long. 

UPDATE: I decided to work on re-editing one of the previous photos.  Here's the result of that.

I'm already saving up for my trip in September and am hoping to find a few places a bit closer (like the Negev desert) and to study up!  Thanks for this class!

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