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Help with setting this shot up for success. Foreground 26 miles away?

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#1 WaAstroRealtor

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 09:53 PM

I’m planning a shot when weather and moon permit of the Milky Way over/behind a mountain. The caveat being that from where I’ll be taking the shot the mountain will be approx 26-27 miles away. I’ve never done a shot with a foreground that far away so I’m not sure what to expect. Any advice on how to deal with the mountain being that far away? Here’s my gear;

Sony a6400
Sigma 14mm f/1.4 DG DN ART
Sky watcher Star adventurer GTI
Intervalometer

Lastly I’ll be on the edge of a 4/3 bortle looking out at 2/1.

#2 WaAstroRealtor

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Posted 25 February 2024 - 09:57 PM

Here is a link of the approximate location of the shot I’d like to take. http://1.bp.blogspot.../2013 06 08.jpg

#3 Tapio

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 01:36 AM

We have no mountains here so can't help.

But I'm waiting for your images.



#4 michael8554

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 04:56 AM

A "foreground" 26 miles away is at infinity to all intents and purposes.

 

Depends how much of the real foreground (the field and tractor etc) you want in focus.

 

Experiment beforehand with a large f stop number, to give a large Depth of Field

 

Should be a great image !


Edited by michael8554, 26 February 2024 - 05:05 AM.


#5 sharkmelley

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 05:45 AM

I guess you intend to create a composite image.  So just do it it the normal way i.e. do one (or more) exposures for the foreground and then plenty of exposures for the night sky.  It doesn't matter some of the "foreground" is 26 miles away.



#6 erictheastrojunkie

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 10:57 AM

The mountain is going to look very small unless you get closer or use a longer focal length lens. Getting closer is always better, IMO, 26 miles away is a very long ways away from your "subject" and with a wide lens like that you aren't going to see the mountain very well. For reference, here's a few example shots of some fairly prominent mountain peaks in the Sawtooths of Idaho, the first shot was done from about 5 miles away from the peaks and a mosaic with an 85mm lens on a Nikon Z7:

 

50156153227_8c96fe2fe9_b.jpg

 

The second shot is done from a lake about 1.5miles further away (6.5 miles total distance from the peaks) and done with a Sony A7r3 and 24mm GM:

 

48723454741_145c8e8b27_b.jpg

 

The framing of the further shot is a little more cropped in terms of the Milky Way, but the orientation is nearly identical. Even adding just 1.5 miles of distance has made the mountains look much smaller and this is only 5-6.5 miles away. The peaks aren't super small either, around 10k feet elevation for each, and they are VERY prominent visually when you're standing there. If there is one thing that will make any mountain look small, it's the grandness of the Milky Way and the night sky, if you are doing a wide shot with a mountain I would definitely try to be within 10 miles of the mountain. I'll post one more mountain comparison, same location, different focal lengths next. 


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#7 erictheastrojunkie

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Posted 26 February 2024 - 11:05 AM

So this is McGown peak, around 9800ft elevation, behind Stanley Lake in the Sawtooths as well, at 2.5 miles distance from the peak. First image is a mosaic with an 85mm lens on a Nikon Z7:

 

50160922058_7523a18e44_b.jpg

 

Second pick is a mosaic with a 40mm lens on a Nikon Z7 with a wider framing to include the reflections:

 

48702642622_aa1bd57d87_b.jpg

 

Third shot is with a 24mm GM on a Sony A7r3:

 

48723626862_27f32492f1_b.jpg

 

FWIW the 2nd and 3rd shots are taken a little further down the shore, but pretty much the same distance as the first shot. So picking a location that is close to the mountain and then using the right focal length/mosaic to capture the prominence/framing is what you have to figure out. 


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