I received my solar filter and we finally had some sun this afternoon so I got out and there and started getting things nailed down. Not too bad for my first attempt, even got a little sunspot on there. Focusing just perfect will be a challenge but the exposure part is figured out I think. Totally forgot to turn off image stabilization which I need to remember to do. Going to have to come up with a checklist to have with me. Can’t wait!
Browsing through some pics from last year I came across this one that I haven’t shared. Taken on September 11 up at Brainard Lake Recreation Area. Above Mount Audubon lies the Milky Way. Toward the top right of the image you can see a meteor as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
I don’t really have the photo gear needed to do high quality #astrophotography but I still love getting out there every now and then and giving it a shot. This particular location is at an altitude over 10,000 feet and away from most of the contaminating influence of city lights which provides for some amazing nighttime sky viewing opportunities.
The plan was to try to get some quick snaps of the Milky Way at a spot an easy walk from where I was camping a couple of weeks ago at Mary’s Lake in Estes Park, Colorado. I knew the ambient light from the town would be a problem but the biggest issue was one stubborn cloud that insisted on staying right over the heart of the galaxy preventing any chance of getting what I was hoping for. Instead, I panned a bit more to the east toward the clear sky capturing some very bright stars and in this image, the taillights of a car going down the road.
Star bright, clouds illuminated by city light. Taken two weeks ago in Roosevelt National Forest. The stars were absolutely gorgeous at 3:30am when this image was taken. While the sky was mostly clear, there were a few clouds. In this image, one is lit from beneath by the lights of Boulder, Colorado. I kind of liked the effect.
Camping in the Colorado high country is almost always a treat but having your alarm go off at 2:30am at a time when the wind is howling and the temperatures are pushing down toward freezing is not exactly ideal. Nevertheless, I heeded the beeping and got dressed (with long underwear!) and headed out to capture some pictures of the stars.
Smoke from a wildfire on the Western Slope of the state coupled with dust from the strong winds created a bit of a haze in the atmosphere limiting my ability to get a great shot of the lights above. Nevertheless, the pictures came out pretty well.
In this image you see millions of stars, a haze-obscured Milky Way galaxy, and a meteor streaking in from the top right of the frame. Down below, the faintly lit Rocky Mountains with Mount Audubon being the prominent peak.
After about a half hour of snapping pictures the wind and cold had chilled me to the bone so I very quickly made a retreat back to camp for some more rest before the sunrise and the next photo opportunity came along.
Taking pictures of the Milky Way is not something I really have the gear for (too slow of lens) but it is still fun to try every now and then.
While camping in the Colorado high country my son and I headed out in the evening for a few captures. We should have waited till later as there was a bit too much ambient light so my son had the idea to have some fun with light painting while we were out there. He did very well (much better than when I tried to spell it out) and my wife loves the image!
How is this done? Getting pictures of the Milky Way requires the lens to be open a long time – 20 seconds in this case. That allowed my son to stand in front and then use a flashlight pointed toward the camera to spell out the words.
The glow in the lower left part of the image is the lights of the city of Boulder. Taken in Roosevelt National Forest.
I took a ‘me day’ off of work yesterday and decided to go explore the Pawnee National Grasslands. With a new moon and clear skies I figured it was a perfect opportunity to try my hand at astrophotography again.
Unfortunately the fates conspired against me as I was delayed leaving home and then had to try to find an open gas station in the middle of nowhere at 4:00am to put air in a tire on my truck that was low. By the time I arrived at my destination, the glow of the sun was already coming over the horizon, dimming the galaxy and stars above.
I managed a couple of shots with the Milky Way although by then it had dimmed considerably. To the left you can see the glow from the approaching sun and on the right the clouds are illuminated by the lights of Greeley, Colorado. You may notice three, very bright ‘stars’ slightly to the right of center in this image in an upside down triangle. Those are actually Saturn, Mars and Antares.
The image came out pretty well although I do wish I would have been able to arrive a half hour or so earlier.
Meteor streaks through the Milky Way. Of course that isn’t really the case but it sure looks like it. I tried my hand at some astrophotography this past weekend – only the second time ever for me.
The first night totally bombed as I struggled to get things right. The second night however I finally had some success.
In the case of this image, I was lucky enough to capture a meteor as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere with the Milky Way in the background.
I was also experimenting with ‘light painting’ by shining a flashlight on the trees in the foreground. That part of the image I am not so sure I like; I think I would prefer them as just shadows. What do you think?
Taken in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado.
Sitting outside by the campfire in Arapaho National Forest the other night, I decided on a whim to try my hand at astrophotography.
All in all, I don’t think they came out too bad. I do regret not cranking up the ISO and not using a faster shutter speed. Nevertheless, I am happy since it is my first attempt and I even managed to capture a few meteors from the Perseid meteor shower.