May 17, 2013


Galactic by Astronomr
Galactic, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

My first "successful" Milky Way Panorama, compiled in cs6

May 13, 2013

Second Scratch

Second Scratch by Astronomr
Second Scratch, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Seemed to be meteor central on Saturday night, including this Fluke! And it's friend over here:

May 3, 2013


Abandoned by Astronomr
Abandoned, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

My first ruin

April 24, 2013

MIsty Dish

MIsty Dish by Astronomr
MIsty Dish, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

One of my favorite shooting spots, on a misty night

April 18, 2013

International Dark Sky Week, Day 7

Here's what Light Pollution looks like ...

April 17, 2013

Foxton and the Cross

Foxton and the Cross by Astronomr
Foxton and the Cross, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

More Foxton, till I get the new HDD plugged in

April 16, 2013

Fires in Foxton

Fires in Foxton by Astronomr
Fires in Foxton, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

On the way back from Wellington, spotted these on the side of the road ...

April 11, 2013

International Dark Sky Week, Day 6

I think this is eta Carinae

Brian Percival, Timelapses

Well, hats off. I'm man enough to admit when I've been outdone. Some awesome work in this timelapse video shot in and around the Central Plateau of New Zealand.

Stunning work, and very inspirational. I have no doubt as soon as ValHallen sees this we'll be planning another trip south!

Martins and Mercury

Martins and Mercury by Astronomr
Martins and Mercury, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

The morning recently have been very good, with Mercury rising about an hour before the Sun. Here's one of my favorite shooting spots when looking east, Martins Bay

April 9, 2013

International Dark Sky Week, Day 4

My Favorite Nebula, M42

The Cement Works

The Cement Works by Astronomr
The Cement Works, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Stars, LMC, Ruins, that is all

April 8, 2013

International Dark Sky Week, Day 3

Day 3 of the week, the LMC - very prominent on any dark night, this is 21 shots, stacked in DSS

April 7, 2013

International Dark Sky Week Day 2

Day 2's Effort is one of my favorite stars, the red supergiant, Antares - again shot and stacked, using tyhe 85mm 1.4 and DSS

April 6, 2013

Milky Way Composite

Milky Way Composite by Astronomr
Milky Way Composite, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

@ exposures + Photoshop :)

International Dark Sky Week Day 1/5

International Dark Sky week is upon us!! 5-11 April, get out there and look up! Here's my first contribution, and the first stack done with the new, fast Samyang 85mm. This is the tail of Scorpio and the 2 clusters, Ptolemy's Cluster (M7) and the Butterfly Cluster(M6).

This was done with 11 Lights and one dark frame, 3.2 second exposures, ISO 3200. Stacked in DSS.

April 2, 2013

T-Shirts! Get your t-shirts here!

Hey all, today I posted my first 2 t-shirt designs up on Redbubble for your viewing, and hopefully purchasing, pleasure!  Here be the designs, one for the Northern Hemisphere and one for the much nicer Southern Hemisphere :)

March 27, 2013

Crux and Eta Carinae

Crux and Eta Carinae by Astronomr
Crux and Eta Carinae, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

And friends. First chance I have had to start processing the Tongariro shots in any sort of orderly fashion!

March 13, 2013


A huge thanks to  Xeni Jardin and for featuring us and the photos, and especially for you kind words yesterday!

March 12, 2013


LMC by Astronomr
LMC, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

10-Frame stack using Deep Sky Stacker, the damn lens kept slipping out of focus!

Liam Sleeps

Liam Sleeps by Astronomr
Liam Sleeps, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

We went nuts with Cameras, all Liam wanted to do was get to sleep!

On remembering to blog

Hi all.  Sorry about the hiatus, there's always a reason, or at least an excuse.

So we got back from Mount Tongariro day before yesterday, with sore muscles, some scratches in rather intimate places and about 4,000 shots of the sky and environs.  These will take a while to process and upload, but for now, take my word for the awesomeness of the trip!

Here's where we were, on the ridge as shown in this map:

View Larger Map

So we climbed up from the hut, and that hurt.  But once we got there and got the tents up, it was click click click all night.  The pics are coming.

In other news:
What's this "Air and Darkness" thing?

Since Val won a photo competition, he's decided to push the photography a bit, with a view to the future, so he came up with a name for it (inspired by Harry Dresden no less) and so we get A&D:

Or maybe should be called ADD :)

Anyways will go back to collating thousands of photos now, post again soon (yeah right).

Quick Edit with a resource:

Light pollution on Google maps

Ngauruhoe Trails

Ngauruhoe Trails by Astronomr
Ngauruhoe Trails, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Second shot processed! A small and very grateful plug here - if you need to rent a camera in Auckland, you can't go past White Studios (

They rented me a 5d2 for the trip and were helpful, awesome and introduced me to Sammy, the cat :) Very cool peeps, awesome price, great support, highly recommended!

Ngauruhoe Rise

Ngauruhoe Rise by Astronomr
Ngauruhoe Rise, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

The first shot from the Tongariro expedition. It was an awesome night to be shooting on a mountain! This is the first shot processed from the 5D Mk2 I hired for the occasion, and all I have to say is wow, full-frame camera is definitely in the cards sometime in the future!

We walked for 2 hours to get to the ridge we had chosen to shoot from, including some insane hill climb action, but totally worth it!! I will be processing and posting the shots, timelapses and stacks as I get time to do them, so watch this space!

February 21, 2013

Large Magellanic Cloud and Tarantula


Am enjoying Deep Sky Stacker ... when it behaves itself :( More about this later.

February 19, 2013


20Stack by Astronomr
20Stack, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.


Quick Comet Stack

Quick Comet Stack by Astronomr
Quick Comet Stack, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Comet Lemmon, SMC and Tuc47 Cluster. Shot last night on 50mm lens over at Bill's place.

I have to say I am very happy with the job Deep Sky Stacker has done on these (20frames at 6s), but surprised it killed the colour :D

February 18, 2013

Dat Galaxy

Dat Galaxy by Astronomr
Dat Galaxy, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 48.

Getting better at this shot all the time! :D

February 17, 2013

Cars and Stars

Cars and Stars by Astronomr
Cars and Stars, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Proof of concept - a shot about Movement ... will persue this harder on a clearer and more planned outing :D

February 16, 2013

Back to Basics

Back to Basics by Astronomr
Back to Basics, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Wanting to go back to what I love to shoot, the stars, and especially this constellation ...


February 13, 2013

Day Three of Chasing the Galaxy

Not a POTD, but still quite happy with it. I'm finding that shooting the 'Way on a 14mm is quite hard. Especially hard to get everything in focus!

13-17 seconds at ISO 3200 gives some good results, if a little noisy. If I can get a stack working, even of 5 or 6 images, this will be stunning.

Worth the 4am wake up!

February 12, 2013

Kawau II, the Reckoning

Kawau II, the Reckoning by Astronomr
Kawau II, the Reckoning, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 42 ...

Same shot as yesterday, 5am, but from a different location. Looks like I need to get up even EARLIER to avoid that Dawn light

February 11, 2013

The Milky Way Over Kawau

The Milky Way Over Kawau by Astronomr
The Milky Way Over Kawau, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

With great tooth pain comes great responsibility, here's what happens when my phantom teeth wake me up at 5am ...


February 10, 2013

Trails at the Farm

Trails at the Farm by Astronomr
Trails at the Farm, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 40.

Spent about 4 hours out there doingthis last night, and got fogged about halfway through, of course having the interval set to 100ms between shots meant I couldn't check to see how Foggy it actually was! So a learning experience there!

Also, 1600 ISO produces very nice and detailed trails, but they're an ASS to post process. I ended up doing them in batches of 20 shots set to lighten then adding the batches to one another, anything else meant for additive noise and yuk!

February 9, 2013

Therough a Hole in the Sky

Therough a Hole in the Sky by Astronomr
Therough a Hole in the Sky, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Re-edited some old shots this week, thanks to being here and having nothing to do but throb and wait for the pain to subside. POTD 39

February 7, 2013

Wellington City Lights

Wellington City Lights by Astronomr
Wellington City Lights, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Just how many stars can I get in a city I asked myself last year ... this is the answer - POTD 37

February 5, 2013

Acturus above the house

Acturus above the house by Astronomr
Acturus above the house, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 35 ... no teeth

February 3, 2013

Linked Sunday Afternoon

Afternoon all!  Just taking a little time to share some tuts that have been very helpful recently!!

First Up, the ever-good Cambridge in Colour, always good for a multitude of things, and they dont treat you like an idiot.

Next up is Star Circle Academy, which is all about astro shooting and is VERY good!

Last but not least, todays article about Startrails


Auckland and The Way

Auckland and The Way by Astronomr
Auckland and The Way, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Well, after a wee foray into HDR (more next week) and running around on other things (landscape, winning competitions etc) :D I got the chance to head out last night with Liam to have an adventure.

We went for rather s nice drive and ended up here, at Mahurangi Regional Park. So this is the Milky Way and some of Auckland in the corner. The skies cleared nicely for a while, so there was much running around.

February 2, 2013

Cement Works

Cement Works by Astronomr
Cement Works, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

32nd POTD. The other's not posted here as they wern't star shots :)

January 28, 2013

Clouds and Stars

Clouds and Stars by Astronomr
Clouds and Stars, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

It's that time of the month again! Full Moon, hiding stars for the last 4,000,000,000 years with it's round, white glowy face!

POTD 28: Night for Day

Algies Bay Panorama

Algies Bay Panorama by Astronomr
Algies Bay Panorama, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

27th Pic of the Day .. having fun with Panoramas! This is the Algies Bay Boat ramp, with the Full moon reflected in the water, and Jupiter visible up in the left hand side there. Roughly 180 degrees

January 26, 2013


Pirongia by Astronomr
Pirongia, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 25. A Darker shot, with a slightly lower ISO

January 25, 2013

The City From Afar

The City From Afar by Astronomr
The City From Afar, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Repost from a while ago, Auckland from the Conical Peak

January 24, 2013

Otorohanga Never Looked So Good!

POTD 23. Shot in the Waikato, this might just be the best face of Otorohanga

January 22, 2013

Ribbons Of Light

Ribbons Of Light by Astronomr
Ribbons Of Light, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD22: It's a bit of a tramp, but worth it :D

January 21, 2013

Waikato Nights

Waikato Nights by Astronomr
Waikato Nights, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 21.

January 20, 2013

Jupiter, It Moons Us!

Following an unfortunate accident recently involving a falling camera, our latest astrocam candidate, an Ixus 125, arrived in the mail the other day. Great little camera, it shoots full 1080 video making it a hopefully-ideal planetary and moon shooter.

Sadly, no port of CHDK yet, though work seems to be in progress on that. Fingers crossed we'll be able to get RAW out of it soon. A trip to the local hardware store and much experimenting with the camera and an eyepiece in store ("Can I help you find something?" " No, I don't know what I'm looking for") resulted in the acquiring of an odd looking piece of plumbing hardware. A quick hacksaw and much sanding and filing later, and I had an adaptor that takes a GSO 1.25" eyepiece on one end, and slips fairly tightly over the Ixus on the other. Et voila, the birth of astrocam 3 (or is it 4? what are we up to valHallen?).

The bush fires in Aussie were casting a pall across the sky last night, so seeing wasn't the best. Unfortunately it also clouded up around the horizon denying us what would have been a spectacular sunset, if the brief glimpses of a blood-red sun an hour before it hit the horizon were anything to go by. I pointed valHallen's scope at the Moon and then Jupiter once the sun was sufficiently in hiding, and was quite stunned at the details on the camera screen. I shot a few movies and fed one of them to Registax, and below is the resulting shot of Jupiter with (L to R) Ganymede, Europa and Io in tow through the 15mm GSO 1.25". Registax is quite daunting to the newcomer, so I'm sure we can do better with some practice, better focus, and better seeing! Very happy with the result though. Click the link below for Flickr, as usual.

January 19, 2013

Moonset on Snells

Moonset on Snells by Astronomr
Moonset on Snells, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 19: Moonset, single shot 14mm Samyag lens

January 18, 2013

Lightpainting with Subtlty

Lightpainting with Subtlty by Astronomr
Lightpainting with Subtlty, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 18: Quieter Lightpainting

January 17, 2013

Summer Motes

Summer Motes by Astronomr
Summer Motes, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 17: Summer motes in the sunset

January 16, 2013

14mm Panorama - For Jax

14mm Panorama - For Jax by Astronomr
14mm Panorama - For Jax, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 16.

jacqui has been after me to do a vertical Milky Way pano for ages. Well this is the first try ...