Upping my Game

Since I last posted I have gotten a bit better at photographing the night sky. I had intended to post here more often, but it has slipped my mind. I will try to improve on that.

So here are a few recent images.

Orion Nebula

Zodiacal Light

Rosette Nebula

Andromeda Galaxy

Beehive Cluster

Whirlpool Galaxy

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Light and Shadow

This is from late afternoon as the Sun is casting some amazing red/orange light onto Kennesaw Mountain and into the quarry. The Sun was almost directly behind me as I shot this.

This was taken with my Olympus E-PL5, which is an amazing little camera. It’s a micro four thirds camera, and those are becoming pretty popular. I also have the E-M5, which is a bit larger. They both take fantastic photos and are good for “stealth” photography. Carrying a big DSLR seems to draw out all the wanna-be security guys who like to tell you how you can’t have such a big camera. These small body Olympus cameras are the size of most small point and shoot cameras, but their image quality rivals that of many DSLRs.

Some Fun with HDR

I haven’t posted in a while, but I’m going to try to do so more often now. We’ll see if that happens.

Anyway, we finally had some decent weather today in Kennesaw so I headed over to the quarry overlook and got some good shots. I decided to add some HDR effects to three of the photos. Here are the results.

I used Photomatix Pro to add the HDR.

Celebrating Copernicus and a Tale of Two Moons

Nicholas Copernicus is one of the most famous and important mathematicians and astronomers in history. It was he who surmised that the Earth and other planets revolved around the Sun. His birthday in February 19th, and I decided to honor him by photographing the moon which just happened to have a crater named for him in good view. The Copernicus crater is the prominent one at the bottom left of these photos of the moon.

Now see how much difference you can find in terms of quality of the two shots. I like them both very much, but one was taken with a full-frame DSLR (Sony A99) using a tripod and the other is a handheld shot using a point-and-shoot superzoom camera (Canon Powershot SX50). Can you really tell much difference?

Here is the shot from the Powershot

And here is the shot from the A99.

The first one is a bit “softer,” but not by much. I am honestly surprised at how good the first one turned out considering that I was not using a DSLR or a tripod. I was just walking to get my mail and I happened to take that camera with me in hopes of catching some good bird shots. I decided to take a few of the moon and the others were usable as there was too much camera shake. But this one turned out almost as good as the DSLR version on a tripod.

Now don’t get me wrong here. I LOVE my full-frame camera and it is my workhorse. But having a smaller one as a “carry around” camera is a nice thing to have, especially when it shoots quality photos.