January 13, 2021

Ep 18 – How Michael Goh from Astro Photo Bear Overcome His Fear to Get Started With Astrophotography

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The Art of Photography
The Art of Photography
Ep 18 - How Michael Goh from Astro Photo Bear Overcome His Fear to Get Started With Astrophotography

Hey Wicked Hunters, 

In this episode, I had a great conversation with one of the photographers who inspire me to shoot more Milkyway Photos. He takes astrophotography like no other, his photos have been featured in Nasa website, Magazines cover page, and all over Australia. In this podcast, you can learn how he progresses in his Astrophotography journey and overcomes the fear of the dark sky.

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Michael Goh  0:00  
And then from during the first few star trails in the backyard because I was too frightened to go off by myself into the dark somewhere

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  0:16  
weekenders Welcome back to The Art of Photography podcast, where we share our passion for photography and share how it gives us hope, purpose and happiness in our life. So today we have, we’re going to talk about Astro photography, and we have someone very special. He is one of my inspiration when I started photography. Actually, there’s a few peoples in Perth, that really got me into photography, and he was one of them. So I’d like you to welcome Michael go. How’s it going, Michael?

Michael Goh  0:52  
Hi, Stanley. I’m doing well. Or, actually I’m doing tiredly, I suppose. I’m always a bit tired. I’m reasonable. There you go.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  1:03  
Are you having me on? Are you always tired? Because you’re always out at night and shooting like this dice? Is that why?

Michael Goh  1:11  
No, I’m tired frequently because of that. But I’m tired for many other reasons as well is that I think in this last week, I’ve I’ve shot seven to 10 events at the moment as well. So therefore, I’m just basically doing I suppose photographing maybe an event in the morning and event come back quickly changed here. And then head back out to photograph a and awards night or something at the moment. And then it’s all the post process. Oops, sorry, my, my camera every now and then we’ll freeze up. And then it’s basically post processing and delivery to clients, we’ve been fairly quickly, and then still planning for when I’m going out, because I actually have quite a lot of projects on at the moment, which will require me to head out, possibly anywhere between a few 100 to maybe 1000 kilometres, basically, at this point of time for time lapsing.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  2:03  
Oh, wow. So what sort of project is is it like more like a personal project? Or is it a project that you’re doing for someone else?

Michael Goh  2:12  
These are, there’s a combination of it, because the there are personal projects, which you have to do your personal projects. And I’ll get to that in a moment. But the these are projects for, I suppose tourism bases, and also for a documentary on astronomy in Western Australia, which I’m a member of the project team for. That’s amazing. But you need to always be having your personal projects I actually discovered. So I’ll go off on tangents because I’m a tangential sort of person is I discovered over the last few years, as everyone says, hey, look, have you got this footage or that footage or, and you need to be building up your own personal library for all these things for when clients or people need it? Because I had a project earlier this year, and they actually asked me, Hey, have you got the Pleiades as a time lapse? And I said, Well, if you asked me three weeks ago, the answer would be yes, I can go and get that. But unfortunately, because the stars don’t care about what our timeframes are, it was actually too late to actually time that sort of anymore. The universe doesn’t care we have to fit in with the universe. That is true, that is true.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  3:23  
So well, we kind of jump just jump right in there straightaway to your project. But usually I’ll ask you to introduce yourself and what you know what, what sort of photography you do and just share with us a little bit more about yourself that you know, the listener might be interested in.

Michael Goh  3:45  
Okay, of course, my name is Michael Gove. I am now a full time photographer. I actually only went into full time photography a few years ago. Although I’ve been photographing astrophotography for about eight years now. I think it’s a little bit blurry, my everything blurs into one after a while. I get to do a wide variety of photography. So I do commercial photography. I do a lot of event photography, video, aerial. I do your Google 360 photo spheres. Of course, your landscape. When I sorry, often my tangent again, when I do event photography, I like calling myself John Wick, because you dress in black and you shoot everyone. And I also do of course astrophotography both in terms of just still within your time lapses. It tends to be more of your landscape astrophotography rather than your DSLR at the moment, although it is in my plans to do do so in the next year, basically.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  4:48  
So explain to us a little bit. What is DSL for the listener who you know, might not be familiar with that.

Michael Goh  4:55  
Okay, DSL is deep sky objects. So you’re you’re photographing your distinct galaxy. These and I suppose your your distant nebula and and clusters, your distant celestial objects, I’ve actually more or less leaned more towards the landscape photography rather than the DSO in the past, because the landscape astrophotography connects you with your landscape with your where you are. So that in my opinion, it’s always been, I suppose lends you to being a little bit more creative in that regard and also off on the side is that I found this was not the purpose as to what the landscape photography but landscape photography also lends more to your your, I suppose appeal for tourism purposes, because a lot of a lot of regions and sell and say look, we want to have, I suppose say how good this place is for for stargazing Astro photography. But if you’re photographing, say, the Orion Nebula, it’s got nothing, it’s got no connection to where you are.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  6:00  
So do you do more landscape as your photography? Because it is, it is more, I suppose, like sellable? Or do you find it more interesting to do more landscape photography because of the dynamic of the landscape, and how you can combine them with the stars.

Michael Goh  6:20  
More of the latter, the sailboat side of things just happened. I don’t believe in photographing unless you have permission to do a particular photo shoot, I don’t believe in basically going out to do it because it’s saleable. But that’s just basically been the end result. A an additional thing that’s come out. It’s just that I suppose I love seeing the fantastic landscapes around us and basically combining it with the stars.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  6:47  
So what what got you into? I said, Sorry,

Michael Goh  6:53  
except includes shape.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  6:57  
So what what got you into Astro photography, why Astro photography?

Michael Goh  7:03  
Okay, I suppose this, I’ll go back a little bit further than that. Sorry. Because the there’s a long story about the photography in the first place. One, we, we I originally only got my first DSLR maybe about 11 1011 years ago now. Because we drove across Australia. And we are now on the way back we thought wouldn’t be nice if we had better, better photos. And then basically, photograph on professional mode for LP for professional. And I actually did my first long exposure, let the landscape photo by accident. So Oh, wow. That’s great. And of course, nowadays, like, oh my god, that’s so average, the. But then I saw the fantastic work of a photographer called Corey white. She’s a photographer based in the UK, she does drop collisions. So when you’ve got one drop, hitting another drop, and then then another drop, and that basically spreading out, opened up my mind to thinking, hey, look, you can photograph a lot more than what you can see with the eye. And then that led me down the path of wanting to photograph other things that you can’t actually readily see with the eyes. And then that led me to my first star trail, which was from my backyard. So that was my first dip into astrophotography. And the reason why I wanted to do star trails as I thought, I can’t remember where I originally saw. Oh, that looks fantastic. And I’ve always been, I suppose a science fiction fan being Star Wars, Star Trek, and so on Battlestar Galactica in the light. So therefore, that was the interest in space. And then from during the first few star trails in the backyard, because I was too frightened to go off by myself into the dark somewhere. I photograph my first Milky Way at about two o’clock or three o’clock in the morning, about 50 kilometres north of Perth, by the side of the road, I quite literally drove to a location hopped out and said, Okay, this is, this is where it’s going to be in photograph and pop there with my first milkyway photo. Wow. And then it just kind of went on an insane path after that, because as you as you know, the astrophotography can be a little bit addictive. And then it was just experiment after experiment, and it just kept on growing bigger and bigger.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  9:26  
So it’s that’s really cool. Like, that’s really cool to hear that. I’d like to check out what was her name quarry.

Michael Goh  9:36  
The quarry why, or why.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  9:39  
Okay, I really have to check that out. Because that sounds interesting. But yeah, like, that’s, that’s, that’s good. Thanks for sharing with us. That’s it’s good to hear kind of the origin of Azure photography for you. So, in terms of you just said earlier, like, you know, it can be scary and intimidating to go out at night, on your own, especially when you just started. How did you overcome that to begin with? And how did you, I suppose, get used to it and be okay with it, you know, just being alone in the middle of nowhere, when you can’t see anything.

Michael Goh  10:21  
I suppose it was, there was a little bit of Sukkot, you just you just go out and deal with it. Admittedly, the first few times I did astrophotography, driving off into the dark, I actually thought of that, hey, look, the Milky Way only rises at two o’clock in the morning. So gee, this is going to be a bit of a hard effort doing took me about two o’clock in the morning, every time to photograph the Milky Way. That was before I knew about Milky Way season and so on. The So initially, for the first couple of years, probably I think I just drove out and then photographed and I quite literally drove back the same day, or same night as the case may be. And then it was eventually I went off and did overnight trips as well. So I suppose I wasn’t, there was a little bit of intimidation to go out by yourself completely. And photograph these things, I suppose earlier on, I used to apart from the first couple of times, which basically was, like I said, just getting up and driving out at midnight, or two o’clock in the morning is that later on, I actually took a friend out with me, who’s not a photographer. So a friend of mine, Stuart, did actually just sit in the car, and wait for me while I’d be doing star trails. Later, it’s good friend. So it wasn’t terribly interesting for him, because he’d quite literally just be waiting for me in the dark. And then later on, it was it was basically just driving out by myself. And it was just building up my confidence of going out by myself. Because I think quite when I started doing astral photography, as well, I didn’t actually know any other photographers. It was is, it was actually quite a, I think a year or so later, we’re tracklist bumping into other photographers and joining, I suppose camera groups to actually meet other people. In which case, then all of a sudden, you have a little mob scenes and so on where you’ve got groups of people, everyone parked around you for your astrophotography because no one wants to go off and look for their own compositions. So I think he was just slowly building up that confidence. And now I quite literally will go out and camp or be on the back of my truck and sleep on the tailgate of my truck at times, depending on the location and photographing through the night.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  12:48  
That’s that’s, that’s cool. Yeah, that’s really cool. That was, it was the same for me. I actually afraid of the dark. I don’t know how I got into astrophotography actually, I need to kind of thing really dig, dig deep on you know how I overcome that fear. But yeah, and I’m sure many people out there not only you know, just the dark, but the whole safety right, it’s especially if you’re if you’re on a foreign land or you know, a place that you kind of never been to it’s it can be intimidating. Like for example here in Canada, we got the bears is apparently still still up like they’re not hibernating. So that’s like another thing in there. So what sort of,

Michael Goh  13:34  
I suppose Sorry, I’ll just jump in and a little bit more is sometimes still in the dark. You go, what the heck am I doing out here? Because you will hear strange noises or I was actually at as ever location, which I hadn’t been before. So I’d actually injured my back while I was out there. And of course, when you injure your back or injure yourself anyway, you’re going all the other thoughts come into your mind and you go, why am I out here in the middle of the night because you’re basically balancing on on surfaces, which aren’t all that great to be out there. So therefore you your mind starts playing tricks on you with all the strange noises that you hear. I was I saw a post from someone recently that there were wild dogs around where they were. And so they decided to retreat from where they work because they were on the side of a cliff. You don’t want to be scared basically to fall off the side of the cliff. And nowadays as well I actually carry CB radios a personal locator beacon about to start carrying out selling equipment as well just to tie myself off to the things where if I need to. I bought myself a little climbing ladder recently as well not that I want to be climbing things in the middle of the night like like some photographers I know. You have fantastic photos of them climbing cliffs in the middle of the night. But yeah, the safety is always power. Millions in terms of like, you scout your location before it gets dark, so you know where you are. And I’ve also got a purse, handheld GPS, so I can’t find my way in the dark.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  15:10  
That’s, that’s awesome. Thanks for bringing that up. Actually, you know, it’s really good to tell that to the listeners, because although I feel like a lot of that fear is just, it’s not true. It’s always good to be prepared. And you’re you’re right, you know, especially when you’re out there by yourself. When you start it, it’s good to bring a friend, you know, because you kind of just get into it. But even if you’ve done it for a while, you never know what’s going to happen. And you know, bringing a radio or supplicating beacon can actually save you live. So that’s, that’s a really good point that you bring up there. But one thing that I want to ask you is that, you know, all this fear that you had, when you’re about to kind of start this journey, you know, before you can get used to it. Do you find that a lot of those fear are just in your head? Or is it actually a lot of them are like a real fear that you just haven’t come across with? Yeah,

Michael Goh  16:17  
I think majority of the time is in my head. Because I’m quite comfortable. Most of the time I’ve been out in the dark now. Except I’m still not fond of being out in the dark at the side of the cliff. Because I’m not I’m not a great fan of heights either. But I used to be an avid ceiling and caving trip leader many years ago. I’m not fond of heights I’m not fond of frequently of the duck. But having said that is that you do sometimes hear stories of say there. I noticed a story a number of years ago when someone was photographing. And then someone turned up with a shotgun. Wow. And it was actually just a farmer who was curious and alerted. No feel concerned that there was strange lights at the location I’m assuming. So you do have thing you do think about that. Most of the time, I’m actually more worried about other people, as there’s gear security and my security but based on on if some strange person comes up and you meet people in the middle of the night, and you go Why are you out here in the middle of night. So it’s more of that rather than Hey, I’m going to have a a physical threat of other sorts from animals. Especially since I’ve got the GPS and because going back to my caving days, I usually go out with multiple light sources. So you look at your redundancy. So I’ve got my headlamp I’ve got a handheld torch and I’ve got another light source as well just in case everything goes wrong in addition to the GPS, which drops breadcrumbs, so I can actually quite literally walk back to where I follow the exact field where I came from.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  17:57  
Yeah, that’s that’s really good to hear. I think you know, having that contingency is really important. And that breadcrumb that you mentioned is really really paramount because there’s so many times where I’ve you know, gone hiking and then if it wasn’t for the breadcrumb I would have like you know, it probably would have taken me a lot longer to get back if not lost altogether so especially in the dark it’s it’s crazy isn’t it in the dark like that mana things you can see the one thing that really scares me in Australia is the snakes because I had a really close encounter with the snakes in in North in Deep River Road in Mitchell falls so that was really scary. It just sneak up on you. Luckily it was like more mature one but let’s go back a little bit I guess. I guess excited we just go right off your you call your photography Astro photo bear. Yeah, yeah, where does that come from? You know, like, give us like origin

Michael Goh  19:08  
okay, this is the bear. Okay, many years ago when when the the bear actually came came up is I used to be a bank manager. And as I’m actually while I can talk for hours about about things and so on, I’m quite open with saying it was over sharing information. The working in the bank, you’re always you always concerned about your privacy and everyone else’s privacy. So therefore, I did not actually want to have an online profile with just my name as such. So for many years, people didn’t even there wasn’t actually photos of me on the on public media either. So what happened was the so I was just thinking, Well, you know, when your social media platforms came on You’re thinking, hey, what sort of what sort of title Do you want to have. And because I was photographing a lot of Astro stuff, I want to tap Astro in there. And then this beer was actually celebrating 100 years of flight. And it was actually released on I think it was my birthday. And I saw it in the shop and I thought, Okay, well by going back a little bit further as to why it has to come with flight is I used to be a Online World War Two Squadron Leader, Oh, wow. So many years before then as well. So therefore, that’s that’s I used to have the the hands on throbbing stick, the little tracker system. So you when you move your head did that basically shift the the point of view within them on the monitor as well. And we’d fly World War Two planes all over the place and shoot things. So that was the connection to the Wi Fi, the flight thing was important to me. But there was already an astro bear as a brand. I think it’s a clothing brand in the UK or something. So I didn’t choose that. So I thought well, I’ll just create Astro photo bear. And it just and that’s basically how it happened. And so therefore, it wasn’t Michael go online or anywhere it was basically astrophotos there. But then the bear basically got more of a more of a brand and I did basically just it just stuck. So at the moment I’m actually doing a little bit of a rebrand but astrophotos is thing for the Astro stuff, but I need because of course when commercial clients or find new for the first time they go where’s the spare can you actually need to be a little bit more professional at times as well is basically running your multiple brands. So I actually need to have a Michael the substrate and Michael go or something like that. I actually thought of when going through the rebranding, I thought because I think portrait photographers event photographers tend to be quite extroverts, introverts. landscape photographers tend to be more your introverts and Astro photographers are way out there in the introvert side of things could you out by yourself all the time? So I thought as a brand name for the introvert using my surname it was go away photography

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  22:23  
Yeah, it’s really funny because I think I’m a little bit more of an extrovert, but I do get, like, I do love it. Like when I go out there in the middle of nowhere and just, you know, have that quietness, it’s, it’s like, yeah, it’s like a meditation or is just so serene, you know, like, it’s as if you’re on your own world and the world problem doesn’t exist. That’s, it’s, it’s always so cool to hear to be out there. But there is such a funny story to hear about as your photo Berek is when I first came across the your profile, it was the Azure photo where it’s like, what is like, and I saw the photo and just like, wow, I want to be able to take photos like that and you have like an inspiration from like, you know, Astro photography side of things, or you kind of just develop that, that style on your own.

Michael Goh  23:20  
Um, it pretty much all came came by itself. I’m not sure if I don’t know if there was any specific form of inspiration and I know it sounds terrible is that I tend to be to shoot frequently with my blinkers on a bit because ultimately, I just, I’ve got a giant list of I think more than 100 things that I need to photograph on my projects list at the moment of I want to do this this I want this under this sort of situation so of course you see things online and so on every now and then you don’t want it to I suppose create too much of a of i mean while while it can help create some ideas and say hey, that’s a great idea for me to try out is that I’ve my brains overflowing with stuff at the moment anyway. So if you actually put too much that’s where from every all the other sources in there then it might sound overwhelming it I won’t quite say contaminated but it basically if you I’ve got too many things on the go as it is basically, do you want to to specifically imitate anyone else or create or be inspired by anyone else? I mean, the light the I suppose distant lands I suppose the originally originally when I photographed with the figure with the light and in his hand and so on. That was that was actually because something else failed miserably. Originally, I did actually see some some work by a another photographer, I just can’t quite remember which one it was, because I don’t want to accidentally credit the wrong photographer. For, for the thing that didn’t work of mine. I think it was a photographer that I am connected to. And he did a telephoto photo. So he did like a spinning lights photo. Yeah. I like your Star Trek telephoto thing. And I bet then I thought, wouldn’t that be cool to do as a panorama. But then I found that as a panorama, for example, it’s a little bit difficult to do that. Because the consistency of the light just won’t work as a panorama, because you’re telling the lighter answers and be different in every single scene. So the so I suppose, if you think because I also did some book covers back then as well, is that you create a and I did an awful lot of flash work, which actually came from Corey white stuff with the flash photography with the drop collisions. So actually just replaced it with hey, look, if I just hold the light out, and you do the photo from the behind. So it actually puts you in that position as as, like on the cover of a book is that people put themselves into that position basically as as the figure in the in the scene. And that was actually just stuff that I suppose that just came out. And I suppose so in the scheme of things, I guess, book covers, and so on, like just looking at your magazine covers or watching movies, or like saying now that I can watch that. Sorry, I think I just froze from it. I like saying how I can watch movies. Now, strictly speaking, that’s research. So in a roundabout sort of way, but you know, I guess there’s, we are, I suppose a sum of our experiences. So while I’m not specifically chasing, inspirations, and so on, it just all flows together in there. I guess also, this year, more than more than previous years, inspiration has actually come from client requests. So client requests actually has said, hey, look, you photograph this, or time lapse this and you go, Oh, hang on, but I can do this and this and this. And this, as well, in terms of what other things flow into your head, basically, when clients actually asked you to do things

I never would have thought of, of time lapsing some of the objects, which I’m chasing now, before they actually said, Can you do this? I said, Well, I don’t know, I haven’t done this before. But who knows, let’s, let’s just see how it goes. And because of the projects, which have been on the go, is that it’s made me learn. I mean, I’m definitely not, I’m definitely an amateur still on this side of things, is that I’m actually learning more about astronomy itself, not just photographing the stars, but learning about astronomy, and also learning about Aboriginal astronomy as well. Because the projects of which I’ve been on have been highly geared towards the Aboriginal astronomy and the cultural aspect of, of, of the sky, not just saying, this is epic. This is actually saying, hey, look that this is a story of the EMU in the sky, or you know, about and the Kinder or the eagle, or any of the other objects and I suppose features, and there’s just so much information out there, it’s just quite overwhelming at times, you just take one step at a time.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  28:33  
Yeah, that’s totally I think I’m on the same boat in terms of learning the astronomy, I would love to kind of learn more about it, but it’s just so many things in there. But like, you know, that that holding the lie thing that was I really love that and when I saw that it was it’s just become an inspiration and it becomes like it goes into the library of things that I could use on different conditions. I particularly love it when there is a lot of trees around you because it will create like a halo kind of thing or a big plane. So, you know, your your work. You do a lot of panoramas and you do crazy panoramas as well, isn’t it you do like what 35 mil shot, like

Michael Goh  29:20  
um, I think the the one that I did was recently was about 180 image panel, Panorama,

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  29:27  
angry edu image.

Michael Goh  29:28  
It took a while. I mean, there was no stacking on that as well as just quite literally photo next to each other. There was actually an interesting story about the panoramas as well, is that the panoramas came around because I was shooting a a crop sensor lens on my full frame cameras. And you know that, hey, the centre of the part of each frame when you’re doing of each photo is actually your sharpest part. So, as a crop sensor lens on the camera on the full frame camera is all the lens defects are coming in around the edges. So I thought, well, in the scheme of things, if you do a panorama, you’re just using all the central beds. So therefore the image quality will be better, it will look better, basically

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  30:16  
interesting is that when you do a lot of panorama,

Michael Goh  30:20  
that’s that’s how I originally started and then just kind of got carried away with that as well. So many things were of astrophotography so do you actually look Where’s all my money gone? It’s,

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  30:34  
it’s like it’s the gears never stop is just the backpacks get heavier and he just noticed you need a bigger backpacks. So okay, coming back to the panorama do you actually like the panorama compared to the normal single image your

Michael Goh  30:57  
I suppose I like the panorama because the it just seems to look more epic in terms of you like covering the, the whole band of the Milky Way. Cool. I mean, and also, as a larger image is that the stars actually get smaller.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  31:19  

Michael Goh  31:21  
So pardon me. So therefore, it basically creates I suppose more definition in the nebulosity of the sky. And then also with the panoramas as well, pardon me.

I guess it just creates a has more in my mind a little bit more possible creativity sides of things to it. I mean, I do do your singles ones. And then I rarely actually stack images. But I will stack from time to time just to say, hey, look, this is what happens if you stack. But I like doing the large panoramas because it just feels more epic basically.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  32:03  
Yeah. The one thing the one reason why I do I wouldn’t say one reason, but one of the reason why I do panorama is just I like to put the viewer perspective where I was, it’s like, you know, like, look, this is what I was seeing that night, and you know, not many people, especially with astrophotography, right? Have that. have that chance to go out there and see that kind of view. So that was always amazing for me to be able to kind of show people’s like, oh, yeah, there was this on that side, there was this on that side. And when I saw your photo, I was like, wow, like you just put that, you know, the Milky Way and having you as the centre subject inside the photo. So Well, I was just like, wow, I gotta take photos like that. So actually, one of the blob tree that I took one of the early one was inspired by that I was like, I saw your photo with you holding the flash, and then the Milky Way right around it. And I was like, I want to take a photo of the Boyle tree. I was like, how do I make this interesting with the Milky Way? And I was like, I could just you don’t have the panorama and Kircher on the top. So that was that was that’s probably one of my favourite shots I’ve ever taken. So all right, well, man that was like, yeah, that’s, that’s great to hear.

Michael Goh  33:31  
I went on a strange tangent. Yeah, no worries. I know that this is way out of sequence. Because I know that a while ago, you said why astrophotography as well, is that ultimately it it has evolved for me. Okay, because ultimately, it’s also gone from apart from the sensation of feeling your your humility against overruns the massive backdrop of the universe is that it’s also has helped with I suppose promoting stem because people get interested in in space and the stars at that point in time. So interest, your science, technology, engineering, mathematics and so on, also has massive benefits for things like your, your mental health, because of that feeling or I suppose of yourself against, well, not against but with the universe. And also, it has actually been helping with tourism to areas which ultimately then helps with the mental health the economies of various places. So it has that very evolved in terms of how the, the, I suppose the reason in behind astrophotography as well.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  34:39  
Well, you know, going back to Australia, especially, I think that I could see how that could be a big impact to the community because, you know, like, for example, right here in the Rockies, the mountains are so stunning that you don’t need the you know, the night sky but you know, the back in Australia especially Western Australia, a lot of the places are flat, right? You got this really cool, interesting features that most people will notice, like, you know, the salt lake that you take photo of that, you know, the crack on the on the on the ground and the trees that kind of like, you know, one of your photo with the trees that kind of like just merging towards you that that was, you know, those kinds of things, really, I think those kinds of things would really invite people to come out at night, isn’t it? And that’s, that’s how it kind of helps the tourism industry back in Australia. Is that right?

Michael Goh  35:34  
Yeah. The, because there’s so many places to go see, we’re always so focused on A to B, but we don’t see everything in between. So that there’s all these other things are basically that that’s out there. I am missing now to this, though, it’s been a number of years since I’ve gone to see anything matters. Because as he, as you said, Who is pretty flat? I mean, we’ve got some great skies and fantastic locations, but I think I do need to get out and see some mountains again, as well. Because mountains, epic in themselves, basically, ya know, as long as you’re not on the edge of a cliff on a mountain in the middle.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  36:14  
Yeah, totally, totally. It’s just totally different, different things to take photo of. And I think what you say that it was totally correct, because I drove around Australia, right. And one of the things that I noticed was that you know exactly what you say we often go to that places that are popular and established. But actually, especially in Western Australia, the places that you that is hard to get to that you know, only that you need four wheel drive, man, it’s like once you get there, it’s just unbelievable. Sure you’re like surrounded by the bushes and the dirts. But it’s just unbelievable. It’s It’s amazing landscape. So, yeah. Well, I’m just looking at the time here. What? I want to hear more, I want to hear about that 100 Adium panorama. How do you take them and why 180 You You know why not just use a 16 millimetre lens and just have probably 14 Max.

Michael Goh  37:23  
So the 180 image panorama was because I wanted to shoot at 35 mil because I was got I’ve got this new lens. So I wanted to photograph the whole thing at 35 and do the panorama. So I was shooting on a of course photographing that sort of panorama takes a long time, especially if you want to do things like your 32nd exposures. So I was on tracking mount I was on this. And because of the weight of the camera I wanted I use the sky watcher star adventurer as because of the weight with with the mount with the panorama head with the camera on top. I suppose was that is that a shameless plug because yeah, they sent me the sky, the sky watcher star adventurer too. So the as the panorama I basically wanted to do your longer exposures and it basically it brings out more detail within the stars. Because you’re shooting at the longer focal length. I haven’t tried doing it at five mil or anything like that or master panorama. A friend of mine has been doing panoramas at your at five mil space. But ultimately, I just wanted the more more detail in the stars, which basically means that the largest does I mean, all the stars look smaller, and the noise looks smaller as well. So he was just wanting to fill up as much as possible. Actually, the reason why is 100 ad is actually because I want to do I actually took enough capture to do a whole 360 Photo Sphere out of it as well. And then it basically you crop it in to say hey, look, this is the usable working space. I think the image ended up being about before cropping. Even after cropping, I think before I shrunk it down to the size I could actually fit in my Lightroom catalogue. It was about 40,000 pixels wide. Or it could have been larger than that as well. But yeah, I just like the greater detail, but I do it manually as well. So apart from being on the on the tracking mount, I actually click it on the panel heads I click it one one step at a time to cover the whole sky I suppose I could actually just put an automated system up and actually just press the button and let the tracking mount do with you know like your get your pounds and signs up. Let them just do the whole While I go to sleep in a corner somewhere, but I just prefer to do it manually. There was a point of time, which I did, I think it was a 64 image panorama, which had clouds rolling through quite rapidly at the same time as the moon was setting. And I actually did think to myself, Hey, I’m a little bit worried that I won’t be able to do it in time.

Let me just actually have a look is that sorry, I’m just going to go the oops, hang on, don’t want to share that one, I want to share this one.

So if you see this one here, this one was about a 6060, something image panorama. And you can actually see that the clouds were actually moving quite quickly. And normally, I’d actually just methodically do row after row. But this time, I actually started off at the bottom. By the time I got to here, I said, Hang on, the clouds are moving too quickly. So I actually started doing the top section here to make sure I got the core, and then working backwards and actually just doing like a random path throughout the whole thing. And I was actually quite fortunate that I didn’t actually miss any, any panels in it. Because the that was my greatest concern. After putting it all together, it actually stitched almost perfectly after I put it together.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  41:27  
Really, I would have thought because I tried in the past with the, with the clouds in it. Great photo, by the way. But I tried once with the cloud, and it just struggled to stitch it together. Because you know, the clouds moving so quickly. It doesn’t. It it failed to create reference plane between one and another.

Michael Goh  41:51  
The Actually, I’ll just share another quick screen. This one was 100 ad image panorama. I did actually try something else was that doing this one as well. But I actually I work hard and being lazy. I decided not to proceed with the experiment I was doing I I did play around with the experiment. And I said no, that’s not really working. So you record and you say, Well, I’ll try it again in future doing something slightly differently. Next time, basically,

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  42:30  
I’ve been to that place, it’s a beautiful place to shoot with the Milky Way there.

Michael Goh  42:34  
But the I suppose with the panorama stitches and so on as I’m using as my primary panorama software, I’m using PG GUI Pro, that’s not a sponsored statement, PG GUI pro is that you can actually mask in with the image, I mean, after it stitches, you can actually mask in what you want to keep in the scene. So therefore, you can say, hey, look, this cloud here it basically you can see the whole cloud in one panel. But then you say well, but when you stitch it across is that it’s cut part of it off, but you can then masking the bit that you want to keep from that one panel that’s got all the cloud so it makes the stitching process easier then as well I mean, it put it all together but then I just said okay, I want to make sure that this is included and that’s excluded for example. And that also helps with the panorama selfies as well. self portraits because if I wasn’t using programmes like PG GRI pro it might actually cut half of me off when it’s trying to stitch so therefore painting of myself saying I want to include all of me in the in the final output.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  43:45  
Awesome. So like how often you use the the Lightroom panorama stitcher or Lightroom and Photoshop? How often does you know you get success by using them? Or do you always use the pity GUI?

Michael Goh  44:04  
Um, well since I’ve got pages going pro now, I think the last time I use Lightroom as a panoramas teacher was probably about five years ago. The I found it was fine for doing things like your single row panoramas and so on. But as soon as I went to your two row panoramas or two, I think the last one was the Carnarvon space centre with the dish bear that I think that one was about five or six rows or I can’t quite remember exactly, but the as soon as he wants to do your multi rose it starts struggling quite severely. And it was actually one image that I took a number of years ago which which prompted me to go to the the I suppose PGA golf pro just have a quick look to see if I can I wonder. Because when I, when I first put together in using Lightroom as as a panorama software, it, it looks really bad. Because I get constructive criticism from, from someone I trust quite, quite heavily. Mind you, she doesn’t actually give me any constructive criticism anymore. Oh, well, it’s a fantastic image. But the but I used to go to quite frequently saying well, what do you think she actually said was something quite seriously wrong with it basically. And the and this particular image, which was actually using a crop sensor lens, this was my first, this was my first multi row row panoramas. And it it didn’t actually work at all using Lightroom is that the perspective just didn’t work. And this is actually when I tried a different format for your panorama stitching that created this sort of fisheye effect. And, and then it worked. I know it looks very fancy sort of thing. But it actually all those frames in the panel were actually there. I think it was a 13% luminosity moon. And then this one went off in one, I suppose the an award in local newspapers and all all sorts of things around the world. And that one was quite strange, really, because it just looks weird.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  46:35  
I quite liked the perspective on that one. I know because when you do panorama, it it changes your perspective, right? Because you kind of try to flatten a 360 basically or you know, a sphere, I suppose. So then you have that you have that effect on the photo. And I think that that works quite well. And that way kind of frame the Milky Way as well as the you know, whatever. That limestone is a that’s in? That’s in clinicals clinicals, right? Yeah, yeah.

Michael Goh  47:13  
So in that photo, we weren’t actually going to go either, because it was actually raining probably about two hours before then. So the the only reason why I went was my older brother actually came into Perth and said I want to go shoot photographs. There was a great weather for it. And that’s I suppose another thing as well is that sometimes the better photos are actually when the conditions are not perfect.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  47:37  
Yeah, no, that’s I totally agree the weird condition gives you a really cool photo but I know like sometimes you have a higher risk of not getting anything. But you also have I suppose that whole whole thing about you know, high res high gain thing, right? Like the more is you you put it out there the more the more gain you might guess. Man, that was awesome. I love talking about this. There’s so much that I could learn from you. But coming on to the hour mark and I want to I want you to I want to ask you to give an advice or two for the listener who been wanting to kind of shoot astrophotography or even just to give it a try What what is the you know the easiest way to try without having all this false belief telling you that you can’t

Michael Goh  48:43  
I suppose the I guess that’s exactly what you’re saying there as well it’s not that there is the false belief is that you can photograph the Milky Way now with some phones when people say oh you must have good equipment for example, I was like pointing towards this photo here is it is quite literally it’s a compact camera and I just set it down took a photo of the Milky Way the only thing that this camera had was basically manual settings and I think the ISO tipped out that was 3200 and the maximum shutter it could do with 15 seconds it was an F to two camera I think or so.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  49:31  
I think that’s I think that is gonna be a lot of push for people out there you know that wait to get their $5,000 camera to shoot out there. Yeah, sorry. Sorry to interrupt you there.

Michael Goh  49:44  
So apart from just giving it a shot is that ultimately your camera is most likely be able to do something, you just need to go somewhere dark. And when you go somewhere is try a variety of things out. Because while everyone’s come With the idea of shooting, I mean, when I started photographing astral photography was very formulaic. If that’s even the word, you’re saying, if 2.8 30 seconds, ISO 1600, don’t go above 1600. And all of a sudden, I mean, sometimes I shoot 12,800 Or even higher, depending on how I feel. But I mean, I generally speaking like going a little bit lower than that and using your tracking mounds, because you do have your signal, signal to noise ratios and so on, you do start losing stuff after a while, but is try a number of things, take a number of images. So you can do things like use stacking later on to experiment with things, it’s great as an experimental sort of, of medium, you can experiment with all sorts of things, you don’t have to go ultra wide, you can go longer focal length, you will just have a different look. That’s all, there’s so many things you can experiment with with astrophotography. There was something else that just floated into my head. But of course, we’ve Astrophotography and many things that floats into your head and back out of your head as well. In terms of, I suppose you’re experimenting and trying things out. But yeah, it’s just trying many things out, don’t just rely get uncomfortable, is probably the best way to say it with the astrophotography do things that you wouldn’t normally try to do shoot at ISO 26,000, whatever. Just try to ignore 25,000, whatever, just try things out. You might look at later on saying that’s really that’s rubbish. But you tried it because most people don’t go out. Most Sorry, I’m just waiting for my cameras to start working. Most people don’t go out and photograph the astrophotography every day. I know I get paid for it. But most people don’t go out and do it every day. So it’s get as much data as you can as possible to experiment with things. And that’s right, the end, make sure you actually put down the camera later on. I mean, it might be time lapsing or whatever. And just actually enjoy it. Because enjoying where you are. It helps you create, I suppose. Lets you represent what you felt when you were out there as well. It’s not just about saying I need a great photo, it’s actually saying well, how did how does it make you feel?

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  52:24  
Nice, great advice. Especially you know that last bit where you say, you know, how does that make you feel that that is such a great advice there. And yeah, thanks for sharing that. I think that is very powerful. I think you know, when I started Astro photography was quite intimidating with all the settings but shooting stars is the easiest thing you can do because the exposure doesn’t change it’s always like that, you know, you should sunset it changes every time but the stars always have the same exposure. So once you dialled that in, it’s all about experimenting to get that higher quality. So you’re you’re exactly right there. Well, thanks a lot, Michael, for for joining us here and for those for those people who want to learn more about yourself and see more of your APPIC astrophotography where is the best place for them to go?

Michael Goh  53:27  
I suppose I’m being I’m terrible with social media, by the way, or even with website updates. And I know I’m about two years behind on my YouTube channel updates at the moment as well. But they is ultimately on Astro photo bear on Instagram and on Facebook. I’ve also also my website is Astra photo I’ve also created Michael go I think it was Michael recently as well, because like I said I need to actually sound a little bit more professional but all that does is actually route us through to Astra photo And I’ve actually been putting a lot more in the story side of things on social media rather than actually posting up because I’ve just been so busy. So that’s more of but I do need to put up more on your behind the scenes because ultimately that’s where I want to get across the people saying this is what I’m actually doing to actually achieve these results to actually do these things. And this is why things are happening.

Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt  54:27  
That’s awesome. Thank you very much Michael and yeah for you’ve seen how many photos you shared I think three photos and they were all epic. So highly recommend you to check out you know some of these photo is just so inspiring. Definitely when I first got into photography, I saw one of Michael photo and I was just like, yeah, I want to learn how to take photo like that. So thanks a lot wiki hunters for tuning in and hopefully you get a lot of gem there and terms of astrophotography. And there was so, so much interesting story from Michael himself. So hopefully you enjoy that. And let us know in the comment below if you do enjoy and what part of it you enjoy the most. And for those YouTubers out there, don’t forget to subscribe on down here and then turn on that little notification button. Yeah, that’s right. And yeah, that way you will know when I release a new podcast or new video. Well, thank you very much for tuning in. And I will see you next week. All right, well catch you later. Michael. Thanks a lot for being here.

Michael Goh  55:39  
Thanks for having me.


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