Astrophotography – Landscape

The Joys of RAW…

Never got time this year to build my RAG Aurora talk… it’s nearly a year since we were preparing to head to Alta, Norway….

But work is nearly finished and so I decided to have another play.

This is the jpeg off the camera – way too dark and the aurora far too green – this was a very fast moving teal green, multi-band wave that stretched across the sky. It was far more vibrant and illuminated the scenery…. which is much bigger than it looks here – width wise, this combination captures 114 degrees (84 high, so with the camera angled, the top of the pic is around the Zenith) !

22nd Dec around 6.30pm – I only managed another 10 shots of this outbreak before the battery finally died (that was after eeking out some last shots by warming it up under my armpit!) Thankfully I’d captured the majority of this performance and it was fading out. It was then back to the lodge for dinner, a fast battery re-charge and then headed back out for our final evening….

Tripod mounted, (old) full frame D3 (only 12Mp) and the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. Cable release and using mirror lock-up to reduce internal shaking.

800 ISO, 14mm,  f2/8 at only 6 seconds – shows how bright and fast it was moving when you consider what the camera recorded (and the blurring of the bands….) Keeping to 800 ISO keeps dynamic range at the expense of shutter speed. I could have pushed to around 1200-1600 ISO as the cold would have kept the noise down, but that’s how it goes…

6th Dec 2017: NEF RAW file processed in Adobe LightRoom Classic CC (2018) and finished in PS CC 2018. I’ve cropped it down to a more pleasing composition and tried to depict what we saw (although this is more saturated).

The moral of the story is… always shoot RAW!

 

For orientation – the diamond of ‘Delphinus’ can be seen to the lower left just past the tree. Coming out of the top of the same tree is the (Summer) Milky Way, that bright white star just clearing the branches being Deneb in the tail of Cygnus. The bright orange star in the upper left of the photograph is Scheat – if you examine your star atlas, you’ll find it as the top right star in the ‘Square of Pegasus’ !

Plus a short movie, made from 13 files (pre Photoshop) put together in iMovie (the shot above was the third in the sequence)…

Damian

Venus and Jupiter conjunction 13/11/17

Took a yomp over the fields on monday morning to get a clear eastern horizon just after 6 am, as I was setting up Venus was rising through the early morning glow a scintillating red spot light. All images taken Canon 450D on tripod with cable shutter release. All shot in raw and processed in P.S.6

Having taken images , quick dash back home to get off to London, hence delay in processing!

First image 18-250mm Sigma at 87mm ISO1600, F22, 1″

2nd image 180-500mm sigma at 500mm ISO1600, F22, 0.25″

3rd image same lens as image 2, at 180mm, ISO100, F22, 2″

Moon 180-500mm Sigma , at 500mm ISO100, F22, 0.1″

Pete H


Crescent Moon and ‘Earthshine’

October 25th, 6.18pm

Taken out the bedroom window, looking to the West…

My old full frame Nikon D3 (12Mp) and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII plus 1.4x Nikon Teleconverter. Hand held.

Shot details:

280mm, 1/13 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200.

Processed in Lightroom Classic CC to bring back the burnt-out highlights!

What Is Earthshine?

Earthshine is a dull glow which lights up the unlit part of the Moon because the Sun’s light reflects off the Earth’s surface and back onto the Moon.

It is also sometimes called ashen glow, the old Moon in the new Moon’s arms, or the Da Vinci glow, after Leonardo da Vinci, who explained the phenomenon for the first time in recorded history.

 

Damian

Venus and Mars conjunction 6th October 2107

Although closer the previous day, as usual the clouds got in the way, but for once the forecast for Friday morning was correct and in the east just after 6am Venus could be seen blazing away and as the eyes adjusted it was possible to make out the fainter orange hue of Mars close by to the right and slightly above, sigma Leo was visible above this pairing of Venus and Mars. Between 06:00 and 06:30 the pair climbed higher in the dawn sky before being enveloped in the approaching dawn.

Pete H