December 20, 2012

On Loss and Processing

What an interesting week it's been!  New Lenses, Tips and tricks from the pros, new design work, a meteor shower par excellence and general all-around starryness.  Oh and I even updated the blog, quite substantially.

From the top then.

last Friday was the Geminids, so of course an expedition was organised!  Off we went to the very summit of Conical Peak, thereby getting us about a 300 degree view of the sky.  I shot over 400 shots, didn't geta  single meteor.  Oh wells ...

gfkBill did tho, as you can see below :)

I did all this with my new present to myself, a Samyang 14mm lens .. perfect for those wide wide shots like this shot of us at the setup phase:

Present were gfkBill, Jeremy, Jax, Michelle and Jeremy's relations (Hi Kim!) :)  So lots of shots were snapped, with varying degrees of success, which led me onto my Monday ...

While processing the shots, I thought I would be cheeky and drop Fraser Gunn an unsolicited email in Tekapo ... essentially asking (begging) him if he needed an assistant .. and much to my surprise he replied, unfortunately he didn't need one, but he spent the next 3 days giving me some coaching online.  What an AWESOME guy!

He shared tips for focussing, shooting, iso, conditions most importantly, helped me with my processing.

I know know about averaging to get rid of camera noise .. this is an awesome and highly effective way to clean up ISO noise in your shots, and it works like this ... (I will let Cambridge in Colour explain it for me)

So, moving on from that, Fraser helped me work through a shot of Crux I had taken on the night, showing me the methods he uses to process his shots, I have done a comparison image of what I tried by myself, then tried averaging, then started using Lightroom's Chromatic Aberration removal tools to try and correct my focus, then tried an average + stack just for good measure.  I will write this up into a tutorial on the weekend for the tips and tricks page, so keep an eye out for that.

You can see how Fraser gets a whole BAGLOAD of detail out of his method, and of course if you want to check out the originals of these (apart from Frasers), they're up on Flickr:

NASA found a river on Titan this week!  A BIG river .. this is totally awesome :)

But on a sadder note, we lost Sir Patrick Moore this week, he has rejoined the universe, we will miss him, but he gave astronomy such a lot.  Farewell Sir.
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December 15, 2012

Geminid Spotting 2012

A fabulous night up the Dome Valley north of Warkworth, Auckland for the Geminid shower with ValHallen and friends. Plenty of meteors spotted, though given the 600+ shots between myself and ValHallen, this is remarkably the only one caught on film we think. And given it's angle, perhaps not even a Geminid. But let's pretend, shall we? Flikr link below image.