Monthly Archives: August 2013

Infinite Sun

Infinite Sun

Infinite Sun

Colour at sunset vary dramatically from minute to minute, and with different exposure settings. This photograph is directly from the camera with absolutely no modification at all. Did it look like this at the time? Well that’s up to the viewer’s perception of the brightness and colours at the time. It’s one of those interesting things about photography, how a camera captures a specific set of colours where the human brain and eye would experience a whole wider range of “pictures” of the scene simultaneously, or as you look from brighter to darker areas of the landscape.

I called this “Infinite Sun” because to me it looks like the Sun is infinitely far beyond the silhouette ridge line, and the sky an infinite variation of colour. I also like the quirky nature of the title, in that while the sun looks infinitely distant and the colours infinitely varied, the sun is actually setting and will be gone very soon, being most definitely finite you could say. I like that contrast.

Scorpio Setting

Scorpio Setting

Taken early in the morning at 2am, the constellation of Scorpio is seen here setting behind a ridge line of scrub and rock. Below is an annotated copy of the image showing the rough figure of the scorpion as drawn by joining the bright stars in Scorpio. The claws of the scorpion are already below the horizon.

Scorpio is one of the more easily recognised constellations, and in fact is easier to recognise in person under a medium-dark sky than in a picture I find. Photographs tend to bring out all the millions of fainter stars which makes isolating the brighter primary stars of the constellations harder than it is actually in real life.

Scorpio Setting (annotated)

Milky Way Arch under Dark Country Skies

The Milky Way ArchIn another instalment from last weekend here we have a nice arch of the Milky Way under the dark country skies of the Wheatbelt.

The red glow shown on the trees is a mixture of red light from us astronomers and the red glow from a camp fire which was settling down by that stage. To the left of frame in the sky you can see the Small Magellanic cloud and the bright star Canopus. Canopus is a familiar southern star at a distance of about 310ly.

The photograph shows a variation of colour across the horizon including the typical orange of the Wheatbelt horizon night sky with some green “airglow”. The distinct almost horizontal line to the right of frame near the horizon is a line of thin fog, cloud or such.

Prints of this photograph and any other astrophotograph in my photography shop and blog can be purchased by contacting me.

Wheatbelt Horizon Filled with Stars

I really like this shot. The subtle colours and millions of stars, together with that wide open horizon familiar to the Wheatbelt in Western Australia. As much as I love the panoramic effect of my previous post this and others like the Spire in the Sky are more what I aim for.

From last weekend also, this shot is taken from one of my favourite camping spots, Kokerbin Rock (if you go there take wood, please don’t deforest the park for your personal camp fire like so many do! 🙁 ). The small light domes on the horizon of this photograph are likely related to the town of Bruce Rock to the east, another town I used to frequent on my way to dark skies to the east of Bruce Rock.

Wheatbelt Horizon Filled with Stars

This northern part of the milky way (as viewed from the latitude of 31 degrees south!) is quite different to the more prominent and commonly photographed areas including the Southern Cross, the central bulge near Scorpio, and the Eta Carina region in that it has less distinct features. What this results in is the millions of stars making up distant Milky Way becoming the primary focus and that sea of stars being much more of a even splattering across the horizon, yet still so condensed compared to the non-Milky-Way regions of the sky. It is the absence of dominating bright constellation stars and nebulas which make this part of the sky so appealing to the eye and mind.