Milky Way – Attempt 1

When I sold my Canon gear I knew that going all iPhone with my photography would have its challenges. And boy, does it ever. One of my goals with iPhoneography is to get a shot of the Milky Way. I knew there was hope in achieving it because I saw a post about it online. It was done with an Android phone, the One+ One, by a chap named Ian Norman.

There was one advantage for Norman using an Android phone. He had the luxury of being able to make his captures in RAW file format, plus he had an app that would allow him to expose with an ISO setting of 3200; the iPhone 6s has a maximum ISO setting of 2000. That make a big difference when shooting the Milky Way.

I tried a couple of apps with my first outing. Knowing that Slow Shutter Cam has a Bulb setting, I went to it first. As soon as I initiated the exposure, the screen, which shows a live view of the exposure, had a strange grid of what looked like focus points possibly (I really don’t know what they were) and the noise was like nothing I’ve seen before. The image was completely unrecognizable. I knew then and there that Slow Shutter wasn’t going to be the answer.

Next up was Camera+. I’ve had great success with it shooting at night but with the ISO dialled down to the unheard-of 0.01 that it’s capable of doing. My night shots are pretty much noise free. Well, of course this wasn’t going to work of any type of astrophotography so I tried a shot at the highest ISO setting of 2000 for 30 seconds, but no luck. The image was just overblown to a white screen. I was beat. I knew it wasn’t happening that night.

I don’t regret getting rid of my Canon even after this catastrophic failure. I now know that the iPhone 6s just simply cannot get a shot of the Milky Way with anything I have onboard. I won’t give up though. And I may never get one with the 6s, but I still get a new camera, er, iPhone every two years so who knows, maybe the sensor in the next one will have the capability. Oh, and I know flat out that the quality of any type of night time sky shot I’m able to muster up isn’t going to be publish worthy. I just want to able to do it.

I was going to end this post with the previous paragraph but I don’t want to leave without posting some kind of photo so I thought I’d post one of the local shoreline. This is the type of shooting I’ve been doing more of lately and have had good success with. This was with Camera+ at ISO 2 for 15 seconds. Further editing was done in Photos on the Mac including the Intensify extension from Macphun Software.

IMG_2831
East Shore Boat Launch
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