May 10, 2012

Short Trails around the North Pole

I took this last night from my back yard. I meant for the trails to be significantly longer, but my camera ran out of batteries. Still I think it is a very nice picture.

Tonight I plan on trying again to make longer trails. This one only has a combined exposure length of 7.5 minutes and I want to get an hour or so.

Once again, Polaris is in the photo, this time near the bottom right corner. I think that I will try pretty much the same photo tonight, and then on the weekend go out to some interesting locales to do the same sort of thing.

May 6, 2012

The First Flare Amongst Many a Trail

As I wrote a few posts ago, I have recently found a program that lets me take a sequence of photos and combine them to give me nice startrails. Since there have not really been any clear nights recently, I have been going back through my photos to try to find times when I took a bunch of pictures all in a row without moving the camera.

This is one of the results of that search.

Near the center of the frame is the first Iridium Flare I ever managed to take a photo of. Going across the bottom is an aircraft. If you look on the water at the very bottom, you can see red lines all nicely spaced out. Those are the reflections of the aircrafts beacon on the water as it flashed every second or so.

Up near the top left of the photo is Polaris. It is the only star in this photo which does not appear to be streaked.

In the middle of the photo you can actually see the big dipper as well. The tip of the handle is about as far above the aircraft lights as the lights are above the horizon, and it is pretty much directly under the left end of the flare. The cup of the dipper is pointing towards the flare and Polaris. The stars in the big dipper are some of the brighter stars in this photo.

Once the clouds go away I am going to try to get some really good long star trails. I think that it will be possible to find a night where I could catch multiple iridium flares as well as the ISS in the same sequence since all they need to do is pass through the same part of the sky. I can set my camera up to take a photo every few seconds, and let it do that for hours.

May 5, 2012

Dark to Light

This one is a bit different. I found a program that stitches together panoramas with the click of just a few buttons. I took this photo quite a while ago now from the top of Mt Tolmie at sunset. If you click on the image it will get a lot bigger. The image spans just over 180 degrees of sky looking from the still bright west to the already dark east.

May 3, 2012

Star Trails at Last

It would seem that once again I have let quite a time go by without a post. I just started a new job, so that is my excuse this time. As for this photo I am quite excited by it actually. I have been trying to do this for quite some time. What this photo is is actually a composite of about 10 exposures taken just seconds apart. I have been looking for a free program that lets me do this, and I have finally found one. You simply add all the photos in and click a button and it smushes them all together and gives you star trails. It will let me make some really cool photos once the clouds go away for the summer because I will be able to set my camera up all night, set to take an exposure every 5 seconds or so, then combine them all into one great big amazing shot with nice long trails.