I’ve been having some more great fun out and about doing astrophotography. It continually amazes me how much easier it is to take nightscapes and wide field astrophotography with silhouettes now than even 5 years ago in 2008 when I was starting to accumulate some nice silhouette nightscapes. It explains the boon in nightscape photography in the last year or two from photography enthusiasts everywhere.
Below is an example of what I mean. The 2008 photograph was the one good result from a whole weekend trip to the country, hours of set up time aligning the mount, setting up autoguiding, organising dew heaters and laptop equipment, lugging large telescope, mount, and tripod up to a suitable site near camp, etc. The other image for comparison is from last night, it is a single 15 second exposure and I didn’t even bother getting the portable tracking mount out. The 2008 photograph might arguably be better still but the different is small in comparison to what 15 seconds of exposure would have achieved in 2008.
In fact, I don’t even recall the term “nightscape” from 2008. I may be wrong, but I only recall that terminology coming about in the last year or two. That says something about how much things have changed.
And here is the image from last night:
Pathway In The Sky, as it almost looks like the Milky Way is a reflection of the pathway leading to the right of frame. Beautiful soft tones across the sky surround the Milky Way overhead. Silhouettes are met by the pathway (Mundaring Weir dam wall) on the right.
Taken last night at a regular spot I visit, at the Mundaring Weir in Western Australia. The crisp cold winter nights are making for good astrophotography conditions (apart from needing all my ski gear on just to survive 3 hours standing out in the cold!).
This is a three frame panoramic stitch comprising of relatively short 15 second exposures. It is amazing what modern digital equipment is letting astrophotographers achieve in such short time. Only five years ago when I was taking nightscapes exposure times were more likely to be hours! Just like my popular Milky Way Rising taken in 2008 and consisted of 15 x 5 minute exposures.
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A regular spot for my astrophotography, I captured this one last night under good clear skies. It was a little chilly, at about 5 degrees C but not as bad as my Friday morning expedition when it was -1 degrees with ice.
I was lucky enough to have some company on this evening, which made the time pass much quicker and great fun! Some may enjoy the solitary nature of astronomy and astrophotography, but personally I find it can be a long wait for exposures and the threat of hoons driving by or other unwanted visitors often bares on my mind when alone at sites in the dark. This was nice to have company for a change.
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Beautiful pre-dawn glow gently illuminating the trees on this -1 degree morning, with the Crescent Moon in the east.
I love the crispness of the silhouettes with the softness of fog and perfect gradients of pre-dawn sky. The crescent Moon is just a nice finishing touch.
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Reflecting on the Passage of Time … Startrails reflect in the waters of Lake Leschenaultia on a cold winters night in Western Australia. A winter which should be raining and cloudy but is devoid of both. Mist drifts across the lake in eddy’s, flowing over the wall of the lake upon which I am standing. A frigidly cold experience for the photographer, 3 degrees and fast moving mist drifting through you for the 5 hours of photography.