NightScapes: Chasing the Light across the night sky. Exploring the techniques of capturing one of Natures most exciting photographic opportunities. We'll look at still photography, deepsky photography, and time lapse photography. We'll talk about navigating across the Constellations to identify what we discover. We will keep it as simple as possible and try to have some fun along the way as we explore techniques and contraptions, capturing and processing, posting and sharing, and maybe throw in a workshop or two. Join me as I set sail across the ocean of the's gonna be fun!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Just thought You'd like to Know...

The center of the Milky Way Galaxy is located just above the peak of the barn roof where the bulk of the white stuff is. The right center rearing upward is the Dark Horse of the Milky Way, a massive cloud of dust that blocks the view of the stars behind it. We, that is the earth, are located on one of the outer spiral bands of the M.W. orbiting the sun slightly canted from the center line of the Milky Way. During the Spring and Summer our night sky (northern Hemisphere) is facing toward the center portion of the spiral. In the Fall and Winter it is facing away from the center. That is why the Milky Way in all of its grandeur is visible mostly during the summer and not so much so during the winter. Just though you'd like to know...:)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What the Eye Can't See

I am constantly amazed at the quality and dynamic images being created of the night sky. Some of them are so amazing they defy the senses. I've discover it is not easy to accomplish such images even under the best of situations. Recently I stumbled onto an idea that seems to work pretty well at capturing what one feels when photographing the night sky. It's called simply enough creating a composite.

Composites are where you combine two images to make one. Usually, one image involves some kind of foreground and the other an image of the sky. The results can be staggering. What you must avoid is creating something that just doesn't look real and that is easier said than done.

What is amazing to me is what a long exposure can capture. What you see in a night sky image is what is
actually there, it's just not readily seen with the eye. So by combining a long exposure of the sky with a foreground image can create what the sky would look like if we could see thru the thick haze and light pollution.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Beautiful Clear Night

Been a bit under the weather the last couple of weeks...well the better part of the last month really, but finally feeling well enough to step outside this evening and witness a brilliant clear winter sky. Managed to see three nice meteors, one was the largest one I've seen in many years. It arched across the sky covering a full 60% swath between the horizons. As it faded, it broke into several pieces and flamed out a brilliat orange and red. I just missed capturing it with my camera. I was taking a timed exposure of the Orion Nebula when a few seconds after I opened the shutter it arched just outside the field of view. I was using a 500mm lens at the time...with a wider field of view lens I would captured a spectacular firey show.

Sometimes it is difficult to get my barndoor tracker to line up correctly and I spent the majority of the time just trying to align it properly. I never did get it exactly, but it was close enough to allow for 30 second tracked exposures at 500mm.

The best shot of the evening is this one of Orion Nebula. It is an amazingly beautiful part of the night sky and realitively easy to photograph. After about an hour or so, I called it quits because I did not want to breathe that cold night air for too long having barely recovered from a bad respiratory infection. Good thing I did too...I've spent the last thirty minutes coughing.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Comet Lovejoy

Comet Lovejoy will arch in front of Orion in January. See the image below right take on January 10th.