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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.

Geminid’s Meteor Shower – 2015

Geminid's Meteor Shower - December 12th 2015 - from Perth Western Australia. A combination of 23 frames containing Geminids meteors over approximately 4 hours.

Geminid’s Meteor Shower – December 12th 2015 – from Perth Western Australia. A combination of 29 frames containing Geminids meteors over approximately 4 hours.

Geminid's Meteor Shower - 14th December 2015 - from Perth Western Australia - Crop 3: Disintegrating meteor

Geminid’s Meteor Shower – 14th December 2015 – from Perth Western Australia – Crop 3: Disintegrating meteor

Geminid's Meteor Shower - 14th December 2015 - from Perth Western Australia - Crop 2: Rainbow meteor

Geminid’s Meteor Shower – 14th December 2015 – from Perth Western Australia – Crop 2: Rainbow meteor also breaking up

Geminid's Meteor Shower - 14th December 2015 - from Perth Western Australia - Crop 1: Green meteor

Geminid’s Meteor Shower – 14th December 2015 – from Perth Western Australia – Crop 1: Green meteor

I didn’t have the time to travel far for the Geminid’s Meteor Shower this year, resorting to setting up my camera in my backyard, after returning from an event at the Perth Observatory no less! I left the camera going overnight, stopping at 01:20am due to a full memory card (to be expected – get what you can!).

I’m very pleased with the result from my somewhat last minute and casual attempt at the Geminid’s – 29 frames containing a meteor (one of them containing two) and a reasonably pleasing landscape setting and composition.

The complete image is created by combining all meteors from the 29 frames in to one image. As such, over the 4 hour period the sky moved however the constellations/stars are shown from only the first frame. As a result, the meteors don’t appear to come as concentrically from the Gemini radiant as you might expect.

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) on the 20th December 2014

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) on the 20th December 2014

Comet-C2014-Q2-(Lovejoy)---comet-align-median-DBE

The intrepid Aussie comet hunter, Terry Lovejoy has done it again by finding another spectacular comet. His C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) comet turned in to an amazing naked eye comet in 2012, will this one do similar? At the moment Q2 is only showing a hairline tail visible in photographs even though it’s nucleus is very bright.

The image above is a photograph I took of comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) on the 17th December 2014. It’s a colour image from my 6D DSLR, a series of 10 exposures each 3 minutes in length at 2500ISO.

The new comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is currently naked eye visible, at about magnitude 5.9. It is currently located almost directly between the bright stars Sirius and Canopus, putting it in a perfect position for viewing and photography throughout the night (in the southern hemisphere at least). The below image shows where you can find it on the 17th December 2014 at 9:30pm AWST:

Comet-C2014-Q2-(Lovejoy)---finder-2014-12-17