Aug 062017
 

There is nothing like a trip to Island Park to inspire me.  I thought I would make the first post about the sky.  The first night at the cabin I went out about 11pm and got set up to take some Milky Way picture.  The Moon was up which isn’t great for taking milky way shots, but I thought I’d see what came of it.

Just as I got set up I was interrupted by a group taking a float down the river….starting there float a 11 pm!  Well, lots of moon light so why not.  This first shot is terrible, but I learned that I can drag the Milky  Way out of even this shot.  Car headlights and taillights clearly visible and making a mess of things.  Maybe I should mention here that I was also interrupted by a group on ATVs out for a little midnight ride as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because I wasn’t going to get a good clean picture of the Milky Way with them sitting there, I decided to move and take a shot of the moon and see what would come of that.  There car headlights lit the foreground in an interesting way.  So here’s what we ended up with.  These shots include members of the group floating through the picture, but because my shutter was open so long you don’t even see them.  You can also see that some of the planets and stars that are visible move slightly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After these folks moved out of the scene I took a few more pics with out the benefit of there light, just to see how that would look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I moved back into position to grab some Milky Way.  I took only five shots and put two of them together for this two shot panorama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went out early two mornings as well.  To late the first morning (5 am) to get Milky Way, but early enough to grab some sunrise shots.  This is a five shot pan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last morning at 3 am the moon was still out, the sky was full of smoke from wild fires which made a nice red moon but left me with no desire to see what I might get.  I went back to bed.

Oct 072015
 

I tried my hand at some more astrophotography during the lunar eclipse we had just over a week ago.  I’d seen some pictures of the moon in various stages of being eclipsed all in the same picture.  Well I started out good until I figured out that the moon was going to go behind some trees.  I was taking pictures every ten minutes, and had to move after three exposures.  Took a couple more and had to move again, because of the trees.  Long story short I’ve got a couple of strings of eclipse exposures and a few others when I was just playing around.

The eclipse was a lot of fun to watch and really quite wonderful.  Being out in the woods has it’s advantages and it’s disadvantages.  There was absolutely no light pollution.  The evening was cool and otherwise very enjoyable.  The downside there were trees everywhere.

Sep 242015
 

Yes, astrophotography is a real thing.  According to Wikipedia the first picture of the moon was taken in 1840.  I’ve been pretty fascinated with it recently myself so I thought I try my hand at it while we were in Hawaii.  This represents what I think is the best of the pictures I took there.  I got shots with the moon and shots of the Milky Way.  These are all single exposures meaning that I didn’t combine several pictures to get each part of the picture exposed properly.  I also did very little post processing and most of the post processing I did do was in Lightroom.  The longer I use Lightroom the more I appreciate what a great program it is.  These picture were all taken at ISO 1600, f 3.5 and about 20-25 seconds for each exposure.

Aug 132015
 

I anticipated getting a couple of new night sky pictures this year at the cabin but the moon and the clouds worked against me and I didn’t get much.  What I’ve shared here is a couple of shots from the first night at the cabin.  July 31st was apparently a “blue moon”.
Two definitions:

  • Blue Moon = The third full Moon in an astronomical season with 4 full Moons (versus the normal 3)
  • Blue Moon = The second full Moon in a month with two full Moons.

At any rate I was just experimenting with exposure and etc and after a few shot decided to zoom in on the moon.  I’m shooting with an 18 – 135 mm lens so zooming in isn’t getting in tight as you can see.  An interesting thing happened.  I got an object in the picture that I can’t identify, and didn’t see with the naked eye.  Wild.  Let me know if you’ve got any ideas.  There is a lot of lens flare in the first picture, maybe the unknown is caused by that?

Jun 132015
 

I’ll admit it’s been way too long since I posted here.  I decided last night that I really need to take care of getting something up here.  I notice that the moon set early, check my star chart app and headed out.  I ended up at the East Canyon Dam and Reservoir.  It’s a bit of a challenge getting set up in the dark, but it’s worth it.  Here’s some shots of the milky way last night.  The car traveling around the reservoir does some interesting things and I’m not sure where the light pollution on the lower right is coming from – SLC?  I really wanted to go up to Big Mountain and take shots toward Salt Lake, but the Milky Way was in the wrong place.  I’ll get that done some day – maybe.

Nov 302014
 

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving for everyone living in the US.  We spent the extended weekend with family in a remote area.  That’s right no cell phone service unless you held your mouth just right and then it was iffy.  I took my camera along and took a few pictures and I’ll share a few here.  I was trying to get some more milky way shots, but once again the moon was to bright and I didn’t want to stay up until it set so I could get the moonless sky so hope you like these anyway.  There was a good sunset one night and clouds all that night so no stars.  Then Friday we did a little four wheeling in the snow.

Aug 212014
 

I wanted to save this post till last because I think it’s the most awesome, but my better half can’t wait so here it is.  I’ve called this Starry, Starry Night for obvious reasons.  I started doing research on how to do this kind of a shot a couple of months ago.  I’ve always wanted to do something like this and my new gear was a big step in getting me there.  When we first got to the cabin there was a full moon which completely wiped out any chance of getting a good star picture, let alone a milky way shot.  I was out at somewhere between 10 pm and midnight every night we were at the cabin anyway shooting away.  I finally got good conditions the last night there.  The moon came up late and allowed me to finally get the shot I’d been looking for.  I’ve posted pictures of shots from various nights along with the best results.  These picture were all taken on Henry’s Fork of the Snake where the cabin is.  The most successful pictures were shot with the lens and camera set at 18 mm, ISO 3200, f3.5 for 25 seconds.  I didn’t do any processing of shots other than the first two.