Bicentenial Tree and Karri Forest under stars

 

Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree in Pemberton (Western Australia) under the stars of the Southern Cross and Milky Way, including Eta Carina.

Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree in Pemberton (Western Australia) under the stars of the Southern Cross and Milky Way, including Eta Carina.

A favorite holiday spot of mine for the last 15 years has been Pemberton in the south-west of Western Australia. Back in the early 2000’s it was all about fungus, orchid and landscape photography which I sold at my local Kalamunda Markets, and in more recent years it has remained of interest to me for the landscape photography¬†but also a respite from Astrophotography, enforced by the typically cloudy and rainy weather of the area.

On this occasion there was a string of clear nights! I managed to ignore the first, staying inside in the warmth with family, but the second night got me, and out I went driving around the Pemberton countryside in the middle of the night, as you do! (ps. The third I deemed was too moonlit and stayed with the fire inside!)

This photograph is a quick postcard from the trip, taken straight from the camera, though almost no processing on my iPad and posted online for your enjoyment. It is of the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree in the Warren National Park. The tree was never used as a fire lookout but is made to give visitors the opportunity to climb such a tree (you can see the pegs used for climbing in this photograph). The stars above the tree include the Southern Cross (immediately right of the tree) and Eta Carina nebula, all part of our Milky Way galaxy spanning across the night sky. The tree is lit naturally by moonlight shining through the Karri forest.

I will share more astrophotography from the area soon.

Reminder that my next workshop is coming up – 28th & 29th May.

Nightscapes at Lake Leschenaultia

I run workshops, one-on-one and group on the subject of astrophotography. Here are some photographs from one visit to my local spot, Lake Leschenaultia. Taken in February 2016. Living just around the corner from the lake I have a nice record of nightscapes at he lake from 2008.

This one surprised me. I wasn't really expecting this shot to eventuate to much when I took it, reframing slightly for the next shot, but a quick fiddle with it in Lightroom and quite like the other-worldly feel of it. The strong green airglow of the night really has come up strongly reflecting in the water.

This one surprised me. I wasn’t really expecting this shot to eventuate to much when I took it, reframing slightly for the next shot, but a quick fiddle with it in Lightroom and quite like the other-worldly feel of it. The strong green airglow of the night really has come up strongly reflecting in the water.

Stopped in for a quick few shots no the way home from the Perth Observatory last night, it was such a nice clear and still night, how could I resist? So tranquil.

Stopped in for a quick few shots no the way home from the Perth Observatory last night, it was such a nice clear and still night, how could I resist? So tranquil.

Horsehead and Flame Nebulas in Orion

The Horsehead and Flame Nebulas in the constellation of Orion.

The Horsehead and Flame Nebulas in the constellation of Orion.

People often don’t realise how hard to see the horsehead nebula is. It is quite a faint nebula located in the constellation of Orion, faint enough that you need a reasonably large amateur telescope (for example 15″ aperture reflector such as a dobsonian) and dark skies to visually see it.

Photographically the Horsehead is well known and captured by amateur astronomers. It sits along side one of the brighter stars in the constellation of Orion, Alnitak, which is one of the three bright stars making up the Belt of Orion. The Flame Nebula is also located adjacent to Alnitak.

 

Tarantula Nebula

NGC 2070 (Tarantula Nebula)

NGC 2070 (Tarantula Nebula)

This is a photograph of the very well known and popular to photograph Tarantula Nebula, located in the Large Magellanic Cloud (a companion galaxy of our Milky Way). This photograph was taken using a SBIG ST8-XME camera on a telescope at 2180mm focal length. The combined exposure time is 304 minutes. There is nice star colour retained in addition to the obvious pink of the general nebula, making this quite a colourful image.

The Moon – December 2015

The Moon - 20th December 2015

The Moon – 20th December 2015

Every now and then it’s fun to just whip out the camera and snap a straight forward photograph of the Moon. 20th December was just such an occasion for me, typically a deep sky and dark sky astrophotographer. There is something always satisfying about a simple, crisp, clean photograph of the Moon.

On this occasion the moon was a little of 9 days old, so becoming quite bright and round. It is photographed through my 90mm William Optics Megrez 90 APO telescope at a focal length of approximately 1200mm using my Canon 6D. Ordinarily in my workshops I advise using video for high resolution images of the moon, but as I also say rules are there for breaking and in this case it’s just a simple single frame out of the camera.