Archive for the “Image of the Month” Category

A “Scientific Artist” image that is a memorable achievement.

This month’s image is a wide-field taken using the amazing Canon EF200 f#2.8 prime lens and a Canon 5D MkII DSLR.  Piggy-back mounted on the C11 I took 10 x 5-minute subs at ISO 400 and f#4 with an IDAS filter attached to the EF200.  As expected the Heart and Soul nebulae didn’t come out too well with the un-modified 5D MkII, but I am very pleased indeed with the nice round stars from corner to corner over a 10 x 6.8 degree field of view – something well beyond the capabilities of my refractors.  Looks like I will be using this rig for star fields and reasonably high resolution constellation shots.

 

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This month’s Image of the Month is a stacked-focus photomicromosaic of a Dragonfly’s eye.  Even at a low magnification of only x20 the Dragonfly’s eye is still far too big to fit into a single frame using the Canon 5D MkII.  This means a mosaic has to be constructed from several individual frames.  In addition, in order to keep the whole of the eye in focus each frame must also be a focus-stacked series of images.  This means that taking a focus-stacked photomicromosaic as seen in this image is a painstaking business – but somebody’s got to do it 🙂

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Another Panoramic shot with the 5D MkII from 31st May 2013 – this time enchanting Avebury – I love this place.

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Spent a great day at both Avebury and Stonehenge on May 31st 2013.

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The Image of the Month for this month is this picture taken from Milford on Sea showing a yacht passing the Needles.  A clear blue sky and an intense Sun led to the amazing “glitter path” seen in this image.  Taken on one of the first few days of my early retirement – couldn’t believe it – should have done it years earlier 🙂

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The image of the month for May 2013 is one of the recent fractal renders.  I came across this amazing program called Incendia, written by a genius clearly, that allows you to use various fractal forms as a basis and  then you can add your own objects to the fractal.  In addition you can colour the image in ways that appeal to you and the programmer has also included a ray-tracer for added effects.  All in all a brilliant piece of software and many thanks for providing this for our entertainment.

 

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This image is a 42-frame micromosaic taken with the Canon 5D MkII and a research trinocular microscope at a magnification of x50.  It is the cross-section of a Curcurbits stem, an image I have done before, but not at this magnification.  The resulting 42-frame mosaic came out at 25,000 x 23,000 pixels and is the largest photomicromosaic I have assembled to date.  Well I guess Photoshop CS3 did the assembling using the Photomerge function, which also does a superb job on the blending as well.

Be warned – it took over an hour for Photoshop to put this together for me and I run a Quad core 2.5GHz Intel machine with 8 Gig of RAM and Windows 7 64-bit.  So it is not a lightweight system and yet it took this long to assemble.  Just flattening the final image took nearly half an hour!!

These massive mosaics are great fun (I wish I had enough clear skies to put together massive deep-sky mosaics – but even the mini-WASP array won’t help me out too much with that problem) – but in future I will try to stick to mosaics of about half this size, so around 20-frames.

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The Image of the Month for March 2013 is this high-speed flash image of a pair of eggs shot with an air rifle pellet.  Flash duration 9-microseconds, 50mm prime Canon lens on a Canon 5D MkII in the open-flash mode.  The image is blurred around the extreme edges and this was found to be due to the protective U.V. filter I had fitted to the lens to prevent it being splattered by egg.  I found no blurring in earlier HSF shots taken using the same kit – but without the U.V. filter.  Live and learn.

 

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I’ve just noticed that it is the first of the Month and the new Image of the Month hasn’t popped up.  Not sure what I’ve done wrong there.  Anyway – it was meant to be that recent x50 photomicromosaic of the Fruit Fly that I took using the trinocular research microscope and the Canon 5D MkII.  Here it is, a multi-frame mosaic at fairly high magnification, focus-stacked using Helicon Focus and the mosaic assembled using Photomerge in Photoshop CS3.

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Last month we lost our greatest Ambassador for astronomy – Sir Patrick Moore.

As a group, Astronomers are a fairly non-social bunch, mainly due to the peculiar hours they keep.  Patrick was not your typical Astronomer.  Patrick loved people, he always had visitors at his house in Selsey and he was always throwing parties which were inevitably very well-attended.  This picture shows Sir Patrick in high spirits wielding his dragon-slayer which some idiot just handed him at precisely the wrong moment.  He loved the company of others and the others loved him equally – he will be sorely missed 🙁

 

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