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Camera : Nikon D850 Full spectrum

Lens : Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4

Tracker : Benro Polaris

Tripod : Really Right Stuff TVC 45

Head : Arca Swiss D4

Sky :240secs F2.8 Iso 800

Foreground : 480secs F2.8 Iso 800 LENR LLL

Filters : Kani night filter

Grasplatz bts

When diamonds were first discovered in Namibia, the German colonists of the early 1900s built a lot of infrastructure to assist in its mining. This included a railway line from the coastal town of Luderitz to the interior of Namibia towards Aus. Prisoners from the nearby Shark Island were used to build the railway line and it is said that for every hundred meters of the railway line built one prisoner lost his life. Grasplatz was one of the stations built around the route, in typical German branch line style and lies in an abandoned unused state today. As with many other abandoned structures littering the Namibian landscape, it forms a great foreground element against which to frame the beautiful Bortle 0.5 skies of Namibia. I used my full spectrum modified Nikon D850 with a UVIR blocking filter to first capture the station with a long exposure of 8 minutes and further invoked long exposure noise reduction in camera to mitigate hot pixels. Numerous other shots were taken to light up the interior and exterior of the station building with a light panel. I then moved the tripod to get a clear view of the sky to the horizon and shot a tracked 4 minute exposure of the sky with an IDAS HeUIB filter. A further 30 secs exposure was taken with a fog filter to create halos around the stars. These multiple exposures were then blended together in Photoshop. For the purist the ground exposure was at 225° azimuth while the milkyway was shot at an azimuth of 247°. I do take these liberties from time to time in the interest of a better composition, a habit I must break!!

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