Astronomy, Photography and Weather
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1591  General Category / Photography / Re: Sunrise in Feodosiya (August 09) on: December 01, 2008, 11:01:01 am
Lovely set of photos- We mainly take photos of sunsets so it's good to see someone up bright and early which it would be in  August. The last one is quite haunting.
1592  General Category / Photography / Re: Sunset on: December 01, 2008, 10:57:30 am
Two wonderful photos and from far away places too - I can't decide which I like the best, so I won't Lol.
1593  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Re: Jupiter & Venus closing! on: December 01, 2008, 10:49:39 am
Great photos -we had fog ! BUT it's looking good atm and I 'll  get up the local hill at 3.30 although the photos with an urban foreground do look good. Maybe I can relocate and get both.

In the US they have these telephone/electric wires everywhere and I resorted, on several photos,  to taking them out in Photoshop.
1594  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Re: Jupiter & Venus closing! on: November 28, 2008, 12:38:01 pm
Thanks for the links, Martin.

The weather forecast is not good here in the SW Midlands (Gloucester).I'm hoping that our local TV forecaster will highlight any half-decent areas for Sunday/Monday and I'll drive there but there's a large low  centred over us for a few days .
1595  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Re: Greg Parker images in Daily Mail on: November 27, 2008, 11:43:10 am
Staggering, absolutely stunning, what an achievement.
1596  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Re: Jupiter & Venus closing! on: November 27, 2008, 11:37:35 am
Thanks for these replies  and I'll open up the aperture more next time and work on the shutter speed and ISO  and the declination numbers gives me a better idea too. I've noted your figures, Paul.I'll bear them in mind. The fastest lens I have is a 28mm f2.8 ,I'll try that this weekend. - don't believe Martin when  he says I'm an expert ,Lol.. very uplifting  as it is, though .Lol.. I just spent a great deal of time  checking reviews before I bought my  current equipment and reading up on  techniques ,I also  had the  good fortune of having the expertise of a professional photographer   on hand on  a couple of 'field' trips  this year re. weather and wildlife. One glaring problem with forum chat is that more often than not we don't know each others'  skill and knowledge levels. For the record, I've had my current  equipment for  a year now  and at times overloading myself with info. from the web ,  I dabbled in photography( weather) prior to this but   since getting the 40D  etc. have thrown myself into it so I'm now  on a steep learning curve. I'm also retired (early) , another reason for 'getting on' with things.
1597  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Re: Jupiter & Venus closing! on: November 26, 2008, 01:12:20 pm
Lol..yes  ,it's me Martin - I've been off the radar for a while. I must mail you. Thanks for the charts, really appreciated - they've  taken me  a step forward , at least I'll know what I'm looking at on the 29/30th.

Brian..I can now see XI (1) -  the very faint star that you've pointed out.

I really appreciate your help question about avoiding trailing and what I can push the exposure time to but ufortunately I don't understand the technical language. T= 500 / (F*cos.D) Are you able to explain that in  simpler terms ?  I was expecting a reply on the lines of 2 seconds max at f6.1 etc. but I suspect  that,that  it too simplistic. I know that  D, declination, is the distance in degrees of a body  (arc minutes and arc seconds, North +90 or South - 90) of the celestial equator but where does it fit into your equation in relation to trailing ?

As an example  and to give me an idea of declination ,what was the declination of the planets when I took the photo yesterday ? It was  about 5.00pm I think so  I appreciate the answer will be approximate .What I was taken aback by (as with the moon) is the speed at which the bodies move across the sky. All my photos will show the settings and what camera and lenses in exif data via Photoshop. I thought I'd taken it with the 24-105 but I see it was the 100-400 at 105mm.- No time on there though.

I've found a site re. stacking and I seem to need 'stacking software' for starters.

 Re. ISO ..I have the Canon 40D and one of the selling points was that you can have an ISO of the 800  you mentioned , without any discernible noise. It goes to 1600 and then an option to 3200.One reviewer was amazed at the small amount of noise at 3200 but I've tried it and there is a lot of noise as you'd expect but I think he meant relatively.

I think the answer to whether there should be foreground or not is to take photos with and without.
1598  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Re: Waning Crescent... on: November 26, 2008, 11:50:48 am
Lovely photos-  the tranquility  must have set you right for the day.

 It's not looking too good for next Sunday/Monday in the NW, Scotland & NI
1599  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Re: Jupiter & Venus closing! on: November 25, 2008, 10:51:31 pm
Thanks Martin  and Steve.. and all  you say taken on board,Martin.  I'll definitely be out on Nov. 30 & Dec. 1st. I actually thought that I was looking at a section  (the handle) of Ursa Major, I've got a bit to learn .
1600  General Category / Photography / Re: My first M42 on: November 25, 2008, 10:27:54 pm
Noted that, thanks, Paul.  I've just posted the two planets so we'll see what comments come back.

Brian..I have that lens ,the 24-105mm  too -  It's a very much acclaimed lens. I use the remote cable switch as well  and  don't have a problem  with  camera shake.  The planets I shot  and have just posted this eveniong were with that lens at 105mm ,tripod and remote cable on a 40D. I suppose I could go mirror lockup too but I don't do that ,maybe I should as every bit helps.
1601  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Re: Jupiter & Venus closing! on: November 25, 2008, 09:47:51 pm
I took several photos  this evening at different settings and found that  the longer ones  caught the motion.  I also wonder, having looked through the above photos ,if it's better to get some foreground in.  This was taken   at f5  3.2 secs. ISO 200 at  105mm . Any comments on these settings, to better the image  would be appreciated especially what the max. time would be before it caught the motion and ends up a blurr. Only this one and a couple of identical ones were worth keeping out of about 15. I took them at Bristol, I had to collect my wife from the airport at 5.30 so I drove down early and went into a nearby field for an hour.

1602  General Category / Photography / Re: My first M42 on: November 24, 2008, 02:35:51 pm
This is with my 350D on the 82mm spotting scope and was the waxing  gibbous on the 10th. October. I do marvel at the photos that show detail of the craters though. I must have deleted the 400mm lens photos because they didn't show the detail that this one does.

1603  General Category / Photography / Re: Sparrows at it too ! on: November 24, 2008, 01:37:00 pm
Lol..I don't think it was so much  as 'coming in to land'  as  to intimidate the youngster on the perch - I think that's an adult  wanting the youngster off the perch - it went into the hedge by the feeder, the youngster stood its ground. Lol
1604  General Category / Photography / Re: My first M42 on: November 24, 2008, 01:34:01 pm
I have to say that I feel a bit of a fraud on here  hence the lack of posting . I don't yet have   the equipment to photograph anything other than the moon (a 100-400mm lens).I don't seem to be able to get a sharp image  of it either  using a 1.4 X on  the 100-400mm lens . I lose the automatic feature and have to focus manually. It has to be F4 or lower . I have an F4 24-105 but it's not compatible with the 1.4 X even though they are both Canon products. I have an 82mm spotting scope which I've used for the moon photos  using adaptors but it's angled and takes me a while to locate the moon, believe it or not.. Lol.  so I'm selling it  and will get  a 'straight' model . Many of the photos on here, even the non- astro. photos are quite stunning  but I noticed Martin say in another thread, talking about how  very 'quiet'  the skies were... 'in all my 10 years observing' ... so  I shouldn't be downhearted at this stage - a few months !
1605  General Category / Photography / Sparrows at it too ! on: November 24, 2008, 01:06:44 pm
We have several feeders on this post and it's very entertaining watching the birds on it. A huge pigeon came onto it a few days ago and a sparrow went up behind it and beaked its back Lol . I had to shorten the perches to stop the pigeons as they empty the feeders in a matter of hours. I don't get anything exotic, just these sparrows, a coal tit,blue tit ,starlings  and the odd pigeon (still trying) and yesterday a squirrel was on it.    

With the sparrows I was experimenting with settings in poor light and  trying to minimise the ISO .The light has been awful lately but this was shot at 400mm  1/320 f5.6 ISO 320 and crucially on a tripod. This is the secret really, use the tripod with a remote too  which enabled me to keep the speed lower than would otherwise be the case hand held ( as most will know, at least 640 on a 1.6 X crop) and thus a lower ISO.

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