My new camera has a "starry night" setting. It takes a long exposure--the user chooses between 15, 30, and 60 seconds--then spends the same amount of time processing the image. This may be related to the fact that heavenly bodies move during that time, and the camera has to line everything up so they look like stationary points rather than streaks. But I don't really know. What I know is that my old camera never could get anything out of the night sky, no matter how bright I thought the stars looked, so this new feature, however weak it may be, is very exciting.
Haleiwa beach at night isn't a bad place to look at stars. It's relatively dark, with a clear view of half the sky (the half that's over the ocean). Here are a few images I captured while out with my camera.
The star shots were pretty hard to set up, but I did manage to catch the Big Dipper.
The moon low in the sky with Venus as the bright body at the top. The moon casts an orange glow on the ocean below it. Venus was actually so bright that after the moon set, we could see its own light reflected on the rippling water. I couldn't get that with my camera, unfortunately.
And the moon falls behind a cloud low on the horizon.
Not great quality night sky photos, but they at least have something. Beach photos (during daylight) coming up tomorrow!