Found (continued)

It was a necessary stop for me.  What I didn’t see on my way in I found on my way out. 



Puzzled by Smartphone Cameras Supremacy within Astrophotography

My D300 cannot produce a photo this sharp when hooked up to my Bausch & Lomb 1200mm reflector.  Through the eyepiece, the moon is crystal clear.  Sharp as a razor.  But I struggle to get the same clarity when the Nikon’s hooked up to the telescope.

One night I tried placing my Samsung Galaxy S4’s camera to the eyepiece to see whether I could get a WYSIWYG photo.  BAM!  Success.  But while it works fine on the Moon, I could not get the Samsung Galaxy to focus or capture the bands of Jupiter (that I could make out with my eye).  So as long as the image is big and bright, the Sammy captures it spectacularly!  The best thing about this setup is that once I stabilize the image in the eyepiece, I can capture exactly what I see with the 13MP camera.  The worst thing about it is I need to carefully center the phone’s camera in the eyepiece and pay careful attention to the optimal distance to the eyepiece.

Nevertheless, it’s the best way I’ve found to produce NASA-quality images of the Moon (if this is, indeed).

Edited in GiMP for levels and color.


2003, Afghanistan

A rare military photo from my past.   Edited in GIMP.

It was a hot, sticky, and challenging day–typical of a day in Afghanistan.  However, we learned of a slingload operation and the collective mood picked up, although unless you were a member of the company you would not have noticed.  The Soldiers were trained and we had the equipment.  All we needed to do was show up on time.  So we did.  I let the non-commissioned officers (NCOs) lead the mission while I fought the prop-wash to get the following photo.  Standing beside a hovering CH-47 Chinook is a unique experience:  imagine being in a sandstorm while being kicked in the chest twice per second.

After the team hooked up the load to the Chinook, they dismounted and departed the mission so the helicopter could lift off.  As quickly as we hooked up the load the mission was over.  Back to the hooches and makeshift offices for the team.  Here’s hoping the cargo makes it and the recipients have more than they need.



DCP_2314 Gimp Edit Rotated

10% Moon at 300mm (450mm effective)

Last night’s Moon was exquisite. It was at about 1-4% and barely a sliver at sunset.

I knew it’d be higher and fuller tonight, and thankfully I was blessed with a window of time to capture, process, and post.

While not frame-filling, these photos show different aspects of our nearest planetary neighbor. I never tire of looking at her, and I can enjoy the challenges of capturing her beauty for the rest of my life.

Oh.  And first post of 2014!  Happy New Year!

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Edge of light:
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Perhaps the best:
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