Starry, Starry Night

May 24, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

One thing I love about Pittsburgh is all the parks, and I'm making it my mission to visit all of them. One I hadn't been to before was Deer Lakes, and when I heard the Wagman Observatory was having a "star party," I thought that would be a perfect excuse to experiment with long exposures.

There is a whole field of "star photography," involving cameras connected to telescopes and tracking devices. But I'm too lazy for all that :-) My pictures were (mostly) of things much closer -- in fact, attached to -- the Earth.

All the lights there are red (to preserve night vision), and they have two large telescopes, one an historic 11-in reflector built in 1908. Here I am looking into the visitor's area -- and sometimes at the camera.

pIMG_8823pIMG_8823

Here I'm checking on the rotation of the Earth (yup; still turning). And experimenting with adding white light (with a small pen flashlight), to see how it affects colors. Apparently the more light I add, the more "true color" the picture becomes.

pIMG_8847pIMG_8847

Everyone was busy assembling gear and retrieving items through the night. I almost lost my backpack in the dark a couple times. Note to self: next time get a red filter for my flashlight!

pIMG_8827pIMG_8827

If you try to hand-hold the camera, the crescent moon starts to look like the Challenger disaster :-)

pIMG_8801pIMG_8801

Anyway, had a great time checking out distant comets and even more distant galaxies. Jupiter and Venus were out as well. I love this "ghost effect" of long exposures. Somehow on this one I got both the very faint red light leaking through the door below, blue in the sky (even though it was actually very dark), and somehow even clouds. I was exposing for 30s at ISO 1000 or so, F11-22.

pIMG_8829pIMG_8829


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January February March (1) April (1) May (3) June (3) July (2) August (1) September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December