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Archive for the ‘Photography’

Supermoon 2016

November 13, 2016 @ 23:23 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

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It’s not quite as sharp as I’d like, probably due to the fact that the Moon was quite high in the sky, it was cold, and it’s tricky focusing the Tamron SP 500 when your hands are cold

The Moon and Saturn

August 19, 2016 @ 00:05 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

I’m still playing with the 500mm lens I wrote about a few days ago and took these from my balcony this evening:

The Moon

And with a bit of luck, I was able to capture Saturn, too:

Saturn

Saturn required a bit of processing to remove the sensor noise and clean things up a bit. But, I’m still very impressed that you can make out the planet and the gaps of the rings around it.

Catadioptric lenses

August 07, 2016 @ 21:01 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

I’m thinking about buying a Tamron SP 500mm lens from a friend, so he’s let me borrow it for a few days to try it out. It’s a manual focus lens and appears to be a fixed aperture (or I need to RTFM), so shutter speed and ISO speed are the things you play with to get the right exposure.
I set up my tripod on the balcony and aimed it at the moon. Other than cropping and some light processing using Lightroom Mobile on my iPhone, these are pretty impressive. 


One of the appealing things about the lens is that it’s roughly the same length as my 18-200mm at its shortest length. The lens is more like a little telescope than a traditional telephoto lens because it has a configuration of glass and mirrors that’s used in compound telescopes, aka a catadioptric lens. 

The bokeh (the blur of things outside the in-focus range) is pretty cool. Instead of the traditional “dots” you end up with “rings”. 

Mercury transiting the Sun (part 2)

May 09, 2016 @ 23:55 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

The photo I posted earlier is a bit small. I downloaded the photo directly from my camera to my iPad and I think it lost some quality in the process. I’ve reprocessed it and some of the other photos to see what I could find.

This is one of the better photos I took:

Mercury transit

Inside the circle is a tiny dot that is the planet Mercury. You can click the image to see a larger version.

I managed to take this photo by using my 18-200mm lens fully zoomed, holding a piece of #14 welder’s glass in front of the lens and experimenting with the exposure until I found a combination of shutter speed and f-stop that wasn’t massively overexposed. No tripods, no telescopes, just handheld while sitting on a bench in front of the building I work in. I’m sure this looked very odd to the people walking past, but who cares? They didn’t end up with a picture of Mercury transiting the Sun.

Mercury transiting the Sun

May 09, 2016 @ 13:27 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

I brought my DSLR to work along with my piece of #14 welder’s glass in the hopes that the sun would be visible at lunch. A small break in the clouds allowed me to capture a bunch of photos, including this one:


I believe the small dot in the bottom right quadrant is Mercury. Or dust on the sensor, but it’s appears in more than one photo taken on different parts of the sensor, so I think it’s Mercury because it matches the maps I’ve seen.

There is something other than snow in the world

March 23, 2016 @ 10:35 By: gordon Category: Photography

I hear that the weather in Ottawa is rather icky right now, so I thought I’d post a picture I took a couple of days ago to give everyone hope that there’s something other than snow in the world.

Another honourable mention: The Europa

March 08, 2016 @ 22:06 By: gordon Category: Photography

I was in Halifax in the summer of 2004 when the tall ships were in town. One foggy day, I spotted the Europa in the harbour in Halifax under sail and fortunately I had my camera with me, so I was able to capture the following photograph:

While looking through all of my photos to put together a presentation for new members night at the Camera Club of Ottawa last month, I came across this photo, which I hadn’t seen in a few years. I actually thought that it might have been lost for good, so when I found it was very happy.

I entered it in the CCO’s February slide competition in the Open category, and I’m happy to report that it took home an Honourable Mention.