2016-08-09 The Iris Nebula NGC 7023

I’m not generally one to complain, but I cannot resist mentioning that this summer has been a lousy summer for astronomy.  Until last weekend it had been over two months since we had a truly clear night that coincided with a small crescent or new moon.  We have had many “close to clear” nights, nights that the forecast promised to be clear, when in reality thin layers of high altitude clouds obscured the stars just enough to make imaging impossible.  Last weekend, the streak was broken, and we had three nights back to back where (more…)

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2015-11-07 Astrophotography: The Bubble Nebula NGC 7635

20151104_NGC7635_Bubble_DBE_HT_MT1_SAT-5Get up close and personal.  For the longest time, as a wildlife photographer, I have been striving to get as close to the subject as I can.  I have invested in lenses with long focal lengths to provide me with the ability to “zoom” in, and tried to perfect methods of “sneaking up” to get as close as possible to fill the frame with my subject.  For me it was all about getting that close up portrait where you could, for example, count the hairs on the head of a moose, or discern the details in an eye.  Photographers of many genres are obsessed with getting close, and while there is nothing wrong with this approach, it is easy to forget that a subject is part of the world that surrounds it.  In recent years, as I have matured as a photographer, I have begun to appreciate the environment more, and have been making a conscious effort to include this natural world with my subject.  To me this presentation is more appealing, and while the close up portrait certainly has it’s place, I am more moved by an image when there is environmental context with which to gain perspective.  This same concept applies to astrophotography, where we can  (more…)

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