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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2015-06-18 Astrophotography: The North American and Pelican Nebula (NGC 7000, IC 5070)

20150617_NGC7000(4)_DBE_CC_HT_HDR_ACDNR_HT_SAT-4I often seem to start these posts off by remarking about how we finally had clear night skies and that it has been cloudy for weeks, but this last stretch of poor visibility has really seemed to drag on and on.  In the last four weeks we have had one very clear night, and it happened to coincide with the full moon.  This makes it very challenging to image faint deep space objects.  Last night, the streak continued and while the stars were actually visible there was a constant layer of high altitude clouds passing through diffusing the light from the sky and preventing it from being truly dark.  I have felt so pent up lately that I decided that I would go out and setup, if only for the sake of exercising my skills with the gear.  As I started to image, I cursed the clouds and yearned for truly clear, dark skies.  I located my practice target, and began to review images to check for exposure settings and composition, and I noticed something about the images that was quite intriguing.  As I studied the image on the back of the camera LCD, I (more…)

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