First test with LG G4

By Joris Obert,

Ok, so it's been a week since the app has been released, no much download until now, but it's great to have feedbacks from the first users, thanks again ! For the first article, I'll publish some photos of the first tests I've done while developing the app.

Here the situation: I actually live in Santiago de Chile, a pretty cool city but with a lot of light pollution. In addition, the air pollution is a huge issue in here too, making astrophotography in city downtown nearly impossible. Note that Chile has some of the clearer skies in the world, but you really have to escape from the city. If you have the chance to travel to this awesome country someday, you MUST take a trip to the north to see some observatories, like the one in "La Silla" or "Mamalluca", if you like astronomy (and even if you don't), you won't be disapointed.

La Silla Observatory
La Silla, Chile. Credit Katherina L.R.

Back to Santiago, lot of light pollution, full moon, is there better time to shot some sky picture? At least at the eye I can distinct 3 stars, and that's what need the app to align the shots. For this session I'm using my girlfriend's phone: an LG G4 which isn't bad to shot at night. Here the first shot from the 5 I've taken:

Santiago Astrophotography First Shot
ISO 50 f1/8 15s

As you can see, this isn't what you could call brillant... It's time to align and stacking the 5 shots in one image. For this we use the align feature of the app. What you have to do is select three stars, possibly shinny and distant, in the first and last shot of the serie.

Photo alignment and stacking
Photos alignment and stacking.

So, using the app and the align and stacking feature, I was able to get this as a result (5 photos are stacked here):

5 photos stacking
Photos alignment and stacking.

Now we go to the post processing screen. The filters I used in this example are the blur mask to level the sky background, the black balance to blacken it, followed by white balance, and cropping.

Blur mask
Blur mask
Black balance
Black balance
White balance
White balance
Crop
Cropping

And here the final result:

Result

As yo can see, the result is faaaaaaaaaaaaar from perfection, but with these horrible conditions, I'm pretty amazed of the quantity of stars I was able to extract from the initial photos. Next step: try the app away from the city, and why not get some Milky Way picture !