Photography, that is.

Last week I was blessed with (a) a clear night, and (b) very little moonlight. This led to a brief astrophotography session outside, where I set up my tripod right in my driveway, set my camera’s focus for “infinity”, bumped up the ISO a bit, set the shutter for various lengths, and took photos.

This resulted in a lot of clunker photos, but…not all! One thing I’m quickly learning is that the formula “take a bunch of photos during a session and maybe you’ll have a few keepers” is quite normal, even for really good photographers. I was happier with my star photos than with my moon photos; clearly I have work to do in that particular department. I still have quite a bit to learn, but for now, these are much better than my first efforts at astrophotography with this camera, last summer.


I really think my problem with the Moon is one of getting the right focus and light settings.
Orion and Canis Major, rising over one of the big trees at the end of the street. I love astrophotography photos that combine the sky with a terrestrial element, like this tree.
Just Orion this time, with other stellar friends.
If you follow the three stars of Orion’s belt to the left–“southwest” across the sky–you encounter Sirius, the brightest star in our sky, in its constellation home of Canis Major. If you follow those same belt stars the other direction, though, you’ll find a small stellar cluster called the Pleiades. That’s them near the center of this photo. The Pleiades are utterly stunning through a telescope, but to the naked eye they are very dim. Luckily this timed exposure captured them nicely!

Of course, there’s a major celestial event coming up in just a couple of weeks that will test my photography skills in a unique way that I’m not likely to get another chance to practice in my lifetime. I’m starting to get excited for the eclipse!


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