Monday, April 13, 2020

April, May & June 2020 is the best time to film the Night Sky on the Eastern Shore- and here is why.

During 2019 JBOTV used satellite maps to determine where there may be possibly some dark skies ranging from Bortle Class 1-4. We successfully located several spots along the Eastern Shore and due to filming from March-September Milky Way timelapse, we have determined that April, May, & June are without a doubt the best times for photographing the Milky Way from the Eastern Shore.

The summer months of July and August are great times for tourist to view the Milky Way mainly because as soon as it is dark, the Milky Way is already visible. This is convenient and wonderful to witness however it is not the opportune time for photographing the Milky Way. The reason is simple. The position of the Milky Way during these months is South/South West putting the galactic center above Virginia Beach. This does look pretty cool, however the light pollution radiating from Virginia Beach is a bit much. So if you intention is to photograph the Milky Way with the best conditions, then April, May, and June is what you want to aim for.

Yes it is true that the Milky Way is visible above the horizon in March, but not by much. Plus the window for photographing is very narrow. All one will have is approx. between 3:30am and 4:15am. Only about 45 minutes. Plus this time of year you will be combating heavy condensation, weather fronts that are also prevalent on the Shore this time of year, etc. So, if you are making a special trip, plan on April-June for photographing and the summer just for enjoyable stargazing.

To best show you how and where to set up your overnight camera we have pulled these graphs from Photopills. They are all of the same night and same time. The white dots that create an arch represent the Milky Way and upon inspection of these graphics, you can clearly see where the darkest sky will be, and that is Wachapreague Virginia.

To be clear
The below charts are all of the same date and time. The only difference is the location of where you are on the Shore. Your location will determine how dark the sky will be from class 1-4 bortle sky.

The reason why this area is so good is because this time of year the galactic center is over the Atlantic Ocean. The light pollution from Virginia Beach is pretty far away and it is also south west, where the galactic center is south east. So really the light pollution is not even really in the frame, all you have is dark sky.
The light pouloution of Virginaia Beach is not in the shot.

The skies are so dark at Wachapreague that in the timelapse we filmed there you can see the shadow of Saturn being cast against Cedar Island. That’s a dark Sky!

There are many places to set up in that area and I also recommend contacting a guide. You may be able to charter a boat for several hours (with licensed captain) and photograph the Milky Way from a desolate island like Cedar Island. But you do need to talk to the local folks and check rules and regs pertainling to the Island. However most anywhere in a five-mile radius of Wachapreague should be excellent viewing.

As you move south down the Eastern Shore you can see on the chart how that effects where the galactic center will be. The further south means the closer the Virginia Beach light pollution.

The Cape Charles graphic you can see the galactic center is already about over Virginia Beach (or close). This is why we will photograph the Milky Way from Cape Charles during the new moon of April. Then in May Red Bank, then in June Wachapreague. That is our schedule for 2020.

Red Bank, closer to light poloution but still an excellent location. Galactic Center still over the ocean

Lastly, if you are into astrophotography/nightscapes, etc, here on the Shore provides a very unique situation for photographers. There just is not many places on the East Coast that has skies this dark and the view of the stars overlooking the Atlantic Ocean is incredible.
Galactic Center now over Va Beach

There is also a LOT of subjects for foreground images. Anything from boats, houses, crap pots, trees, etc.

A few quick tips.

·         Plan your time for prime viewing, we use photopills and it is a great planner.

·         Just take it as a fact that you will experience condensation. The Shore is a small strip of land with the Chesapeake Bay on one side and the ocean on the other. During the 3 months of spring, you are going to get dew. Just plan on it. We use 3\4 heat packs and attach to the lens with runner bands. It is cheap and most importantly it works.

·         Make reservations for lodging early and plan on several days if you can. Clouds are an issue on the Shore and to target just one night would be hard to do, the odds won’t be with you.

·         Be respectful at night while light painting.

·         If you are photographing in June on the Shore, have at least a 3 stage bug repellent system for you and your gear. We use bug bombs, spray on deet, and an OFF disbursement fogger.

If you are planning on photographing all night, your shoot will end just prior to Astronomical Twilight, but remember the sun will be rising over the ocean in a little over an hour. This is a perfect opportunity to film the sunrise over the Atlantic. Great shots.

For more teck info and to read our shoot log from our 2019 award winning Milky Way film click the link below.

Clear Skies and tight lines.

Jim Baugh

JBOTV Nightscape Gear 2020
Cannon 200d/SL2 Toniks 11-16mm, Cannon 50mmPrime, Cannon 24mm Prime, Tammeron 18-200mm, ioptron sky tracker equatorial mount, ioptron ballead, 2 monfrotto tripods.

Wachapreague Eastern Shore Virginia

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Milky Way / Nightscapes 2020 Jim Baugh Outdoors TV

Hi Folks! Here JBOTV will be posting various astrophotography and night scapes for 2020. We will also post our settings and other info pertaining to the shoot. This page will be updated every month starting March 2020.  Below is our basic set up that is fairly standard for each shoot however exposures time vary depending on focal length and weather.

Also we would like to thank legendary photographer Kevin Adams for sending us one of his Lens Muffs that he designed and sells. If you shoot astrophotography or simply need an inexpensive easy and sure what to combat lens condensation, then the Lens Muff is your ticket! This is a piece of gear that folds smaller than a wallet and should be in EVERY photographers Kit.

The benefits are simple, you don’t need any power source, it is small, light, it is inexpensive, very well made and most importantly it works!!!

For our Tonika 11-16 F2.8 on a Cannon 200D/SL2 I use 3 hand warmers. While filming during spring here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia surrounded by water, everything will dew up and badly. The car, the tripod, all gear will be covered with Dew, except the lens. It stays perfectly dry with “0” condensation. I will film all night long, many hours and the heat packs last, have never had to change them out during long timelapse. Most any regular hand warmer heat packs will work, I buy them in bulk by the bag.

It only took me one overnight timelapse shoot where we got busted with dew only about an hour into filming. After that, I swore I would never have a busted night again due to condensation on the lens. Since strapping heat packs to the lens, have never had a problem.
You can order the Lens Muff online and is a very easy order right from Kevin’s website link below.

Image capture in the field:

Cannon 200D\SL2, Tonika 11-16 F 2.8 ISO usually 400-1600. While composing shots we will use an ISO of over 6000, but all our takes will be under 1600 RAW + Jpeg. Monfrotto tripods, Ioptron equatorial mount and ball head, Vello Intervalometer, Cannon 50mm prime F 1,8 and 24mm prime F2.8, Tameron 18-200mm, Green Lazer Pointer.

UPDATE: Quite a few shoots now with the sky tracker. Basic polar alighment we are shooting exposures from 5 to 10 minutes each, no star trails. At 10 minutes ISO is set to 100. At 5 minutes, ISO 200. Around 3 minutes, ISO 400.


GVM RGB 7S LED Camera Light Full Color Mini Video Light Kit Dimmable 2000K-5600K Bi-Color Panel Light.

Moman On Camera Video Light for DSLR, 4.5 Inch 96 LED Panel CRI 96 Megnetic Bi-Color 3000K-6500K Brightness Dimmable OLED Display.

YIWER Flameless Candles, 4" 5" 6" 

* 4 flashlights. One large beam, one spot, one red,one flood.

Post processing and planning:

Photoshop CC, lightroom, and Deep Sky Stacker, Stellarium for PC, Dew Point.

My Radar, Photo Pills, Polar Finder Pro, Polar Alignment, Sky Map, and Sun Position.

Other gear for the field:

Gaffers tape, Hot Hands heat packs to combat dew, Opolar Fan for condensation and bugs, Off insect fan, 1 black sock and 5 rubber bands used to wrap the lens.

2019 was a busy year for JBOTV producing the Short Film “The Milky Way Galaxy our Home” As seen from the Eastern Shore. The principle production lasted 4 months and the B Roll timelapse took 4 years to produce. The film so far has been selected for 5 festivals and has one 3 awards for Cinematography, Editing, and Music. I attended two of the festivals and we really had a blast, met a ton of new friends and screen a lot of films. It is great to see all the talent out there! If you have not seen our film yet the link s below.

Wishing you clear skies, tight lines, and good eats!

Jim Baugh
Jim Baugh Outdoors TV

The Milky Way & Jazz May 24 2020

The Milky Way and Jazz: Last nights astro/nightscape shoot was really nice with maybe a 3 to 4 hour window of perfectly clear skies. I did not trust the astro weather charts this time, there were just too many clouds yesterday afternoon, so did not venture up north to Wachapreague. So Jazz and I stayed at Mermaid Bay and filmed here, it was a beautiful night. The clouds started in around the time Mars became visible. We are still around the new moon phase so if you get a clear night it is perfect time for a little star gazing. Enjoy, and everyone have a safe and enjoyable holiday. Now time to film some Drum!

Photo Info: Cannon 200D/SL2 Vello intervalometer, manfrotto tripod, Tonika 11 to 16mm, ioptron sky tracker polar aligned mount, moman LED light, Various flashlights, and 3 heat packs in a Lens Muff.
Milky Way Exposure / 2, 16 minutes total. F2.8 ISO 100 Tracked
Foreground Exposure / 2 at 8 seconds light painted with various flashlights, candlelight, and 1 moman LED that was in the crap basket.
Post processing. Photoshop CC and Lightroom. The MW exposures were stacked in Photoshop
Thanks to Jazz for yet another highly entertaining night of astrophotography. What a dog.
Flower Supermoon May 2020

Last of the Supermoons for 2020. Filmed at Mermaid Bay Cape Charles Eastern Shore Virginia.
Photo Info:
Supermoon: Lens 18-200mm/320EQ f2.8 ISO 100
Milky Way: Lens Tonika 11-16. Equatorial Mount/Tracking 3 five-minute exposures stacked.
Foreground Flowers: Day for Night filter, ISO 100 Lens 50mm Prime.
Composited and stacked in Photoshop CC

April 28 the Milky Way Over Magothy Bay on the Eastern Shore of Virginia

Magothy Bay Milky Way April 28th Eastern Shore of Virginia: Finally, clear skies with no wind and no airplanes leaving vapor trails in the sky, less pollution and one crystal clear sky. It was amazing. Filmed from Midnight to around 4:30. This is a beautiful spot on the Eastern Shore, just incredible. Hope everyone is safe and well. The Drum are also here and the Shore Clams are the best! We put this image over on our gallery and it is a good size one, 24X16. If your looking for a good size print of the Milky Way, this is a goodin. This is one of our longer Milky Way exposures, 3 RAW images, 10-minute exposure for each. (30minutes) Yall enjoy. Cheers and Godspeed. Photo Info Below.

Location: Magothy Bay, Eastern Shore of Virginia only a minute or so off the CBBT when you come on to the Shore heading North.

Equipment: Monfrotto tripod, Vello Intervalometer, equatorial mount polar aligned, Cannon 200d/sl2, Tonika 11-16 with Lens Muff & 3 warming packs, various lighting from flashlight, candlelight and a wonderful Moman selectable Led. Post, Lightroom and Photoshop.

Exposures Milky Way: Probably had a total of over an hour or so exposures. After preview in post, we chose the three consecutive 10 minute each exposure then imported to stack in Photoshop. Tweaked a little in Lightroom, then composited in Photoshop. Camera setting ISO only at 100, Shutter 10 minutes, F2.8

Foreground Exposures: (2) One at ISO 800 at 8 seconds F2.8 light painted. The second exposure was at ISO 3200, 8 seconds light painted F2.8. Both exposures were composted in Photoshop.

April 19 the Milky Way Townsend  on the Eastern Shore of Virginia

Townsend Eastern Shore of Virginia Milky Way filmed early Sunday. Photo Info: single 5-minute exposure, tracked with equatorial mount polar aligned but not spot on, Lens 11-16mm, 3 heat packs, Cannon 200d/sl2. Foreground 6 seconds at 400 ISO 2 exposures, one day for night in post, then blended with original. Shot takin just off rt 13 as you head into Townsend. This is on the way to go to Magothy Bay. Filmed this during our 5 hr window Sat-Sunday evening all total five location including 3 shoots in Cape Charles. We have a window coming up in a couple of days, probably shoot for Red Bank, then Wachapreague in May new moon week.

Also…The Drum are here.

April 19 th Milky Way in Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore of Virginia

Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore on Virginia Saturday night, What a SHOW! A somewhat rare perfectly clear no moon night with special guest the Milky Way Galactic Center, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Saturn, Jupiter and mars plus a bunch of other constellations and even some Lyrid meteor showers all from 1 to 4:30am. Great night! These next several days is around the new moon, so if skies are clear go check out our night sky!

NOTE: In the “LoveSign” image you can see the three planets just under the Milky Way, Jupiter, Saturn, then Mars. Takin around 3;30am (I think) This pic does not do it justice, seeing it span the sky was very cool. Check it out!

Photo Info: Milky Way-  40 Raw images totaling around 60 minutes of exposure. Files arranges in iso from 800 to 1600 but mostly used the 800iso images exposed at 4 min each. I also did several 5 minute exposures with no star trailing at all. Lens, tonika 11-16mm f 2.8, 200d/sl2, equatorial mount polar aligned, 3 heat packs for the lens (everything dewed up bad but no condensation on the lens at all)

Foreground: 400iso, f2.8, six second exposures light painted with flashlights and candlelight in sea glass containers.

Processing: Not much, the mages were extremely clean because of the long exposure, photoshopCC and lightroom for tweaking. I shot some dark frames but did not use them and simply stacked 3 images in photoshop as scripts, then converted to smart objects.

April 7th SuperMoon over Magothy Bay

Got down quickly to Magothy Bay set up for the Super Moon and had reasonably clear skies and one brilliant moon. We ran the tracker on this, polar aligned. Photo info 60 RAW images stacked in Photoshop. Lens tameron 18-200\320Eq, F11 at 250 shutter. Cannon 200D/SL2, Equatorial Mount. Foreground 15 sec exposure light painted. Composited in photoshop.

Milky Way March 2020 Magothy Bay Eastern Shore of Virginia:
Following up from last years award winning Milky Way Galaxy Short Film, JBOTV for 2020 is now tracking the stars with a series of stills featuring our new equatorial mount which compensates for the rotation of the Earth enabling for much longer exposures. We will film at least once a month for the Milky Way season from March to June. We are fortunate to be filming on the Eastern Shore of Virginia that has skies ranging from Bortle class 1-4.

Story and photo info for Magothy Bay: We have been plagued with overcast skies for the duration of March. The morning of the 31st, the skies were predicted to be clear with about 10% cloud cover. The thick fog was a big problem. It for sure was gonna be a busted shoot. However somewhere between 3:30am and 4 in the morning, the fog blew through for about 4 minutes. This gave us the opportunity to film two exposures totaling 3.5 minutes. Then the clouds and fog roared right back overhead. It was a VERY small window to film, but as Michael McDonald sang, “If that what it takes” our shutter was open. Below is the photo info.

Milky Way: Cannon 200D/Sl2, Two (2) exposures, one at 30seconds at 1600 ISO, one at 3 minutes 800 ISO. F2.8, 11-16 millimeter lenses with four heat packs to combat dew. Vello intervalometer, Ioptron SKY tracker equatorial mount with Ioptron Ballhead, and monfrotto tripod. Post Processing, Lightroom, Photochop CC, and Deep Sky Stacker.

Foreground: Light painted for 5 seconds during 15 second exposure. A total of 2 exposures at 15sec each, 800 ISO F2.8. Mastered in Photoshop CC.

Second image was also takin at Magothy Bay with reeds in the foregound.

Godspeed, JB. JBOTV

February Orion and Pleiades:

We only had a few clear nights on the Shore this month but did get out with the new Sky Tracker. This was our first attempt and certainly made some mistakes rigging out the mount. A ball head is not something I ever used in 33 yrs of production, I did not think it would have a learning curve, but it did! We shot this with a 50mm prime and a 200mm tameron. After this shoot I got things straightened out with the rig and ready for the next shoot. This was filmed at Mermaid Bay on the beach.
Orion Nebula 200mm (320eq)
Orion 50mm prime

Orion Nebula 200mm tracked (but mount was wrong)
Pleiades tracked 200mm

More to come!