Had a decent clear night last night and managed to grab 3 and a half hours of 10-minute subs. This time I was galaxy hunting in Leo and set up on the region that contains M95, M96 and M105. Quite a few other galaxies can be seen in this image as well. Image taken last night and processed by Noel Carboni in Florida U.S.A. today – how’s that for a fast turn around?
The recent Jupiter and Mercury close encounter that I imaged over the New Forest made an appearance on Simon Parkin’s Weather slot on Meridian TV on the 14th March 2011. Video footage Copyright Meridian TV.
I took this image of Jupiter close to Mercury over the Forest tonight, just after sunset. Jupiter is the brighter planet at the top, Mercury is the red planet at the lower right.
Noel Carboni (Florida, U.S.A.) did some clean up processing on this one before sending back to me – so this image has already been once around the planet 🙂 Canon 5D with 100-400mm zoom and x1.4 converter, ISO 400, 3-seconds, f#18.
I think that Jupiter and Mercury will be at their closest in 3-days time. If you do want to see them – DO NOT – scan across the West with telescopes or binoculars until the Sun has FULLY set!!!!
I have used Helicon Focus extensively with my photomicroscopy to give me huge depth of focus using focus stacking. I am now getting into using the associated Helicon Remote software which automatically controls a DSLR to again create a focus stacked image – this software is totally remarkable. I just plug my Canon 5D MkII into the USB port with Helicon Remote running – and it does it all for you! The software even works with the RAW files from the 5D MkII which is more than I can say for CS3!! Anyway – you set a low f# (you don’t need depth of field as you’re focus stacking) a low ISO for low noise, and your exposure time to suit. Using the software buttons in HR you set the near and far field focus points and let HR work out the best stack. Hit take the pictures and off it goes taking an image, shifting focus, and taking the next image until it’s completed the stack. Now comes the best bit – it now puts all the images into Helicon Focus where it focus stacks the lot. Here is my first real go with this software – I’m going to have to go up into the loft to get the butterflies out again.
Managed to get 4 and a half hours worth of imaging time on Phecda (star), M109 and at least 25 other galaxies in Ursa Major last night. Should turn out to be a very nice image with ultra bright (blue) Phecda contrasting with all the faint fuzzies (galaxies) in the region. Reasonably good seeing too – we’ve been very lucky with the skies at the beginning of this month – I think it is due to end soon according to the forecasts.
I am pretty impressed with the freezing power of the HSF “Ultra” units and the fantastic images they can give of water drop collisions. BUT – the limitations of stills photography makes itself very apparent when you take high-speed video footage of the same water drop collision events. In the following two HS videos Tony Allen of Panache Productions shows what can be done when you put a “Phantom” high-speed video camera in the right hands!
Check out my web site dedicated to high-speed flash photography.