Posts Tagged ‘high ISO camera’

High-ISO nights on the world’s tallest mountain

Monday, July 12th, 2010

[by Fritz] Recently I had the chance to do some night shooting on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea using my new Canon 1D Mark IV. I spent five evenings shooting on the summit in the freezing cold, and like a lot of visitors to Hawaii, I resorted to using socks for mittens. Low-tech gloves, high-tech camera – feels like science fiction. With fast lenses and ISO settings of 6,400 or higher, I can shoot in almost complete darkness and freeze stars as single points just as they look to the human eye – no more long exposures with circular star trails. Canon’s high-ISO camera combined with the new noise reduction in Adobe Photoshop CS5 produces phenomenal results.

The real sci-fi story is at the top of Mauna Kea where there’s over a billion dollars worth of telescopes, radio dishes and lasers searching the sky. Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano with an elevation of 13,800 feet, and from the ocean floor it measures 30,000 feet, making it the world’s tallest mountain. In the middle of the Pacific with clear, stable conditions above the clouds, it’s one of the best places in the world for astronomy, which is why 13 international observatories are clustered on the summit. It’s the most outrageous stargazing I’ve ever done.