View Full Version here: : Planets on Parade at the Dish
17-07-2012, 07:58 PM
Together with Phil we've been chasing gaps in the clouds at the Parkes Radio Observatory for two nights. After doing a "packing up and driving away" ritual on Sunday morning the clouds opened and I raced back to the Dish and managed to take this shot before the sky closed again. Moments like that are worth all the sleepless nights for me.
15 July 2012, Nikon D3S, Nikkor 35mm at f/2.8, ISO 3200. Annotated version is attached as well.
17-07-2012, 09:20 PM
Well done Alex! Nice image indeed. The Pleiades came out well! I look forward to seeing your timelapses sometime too.
I'm glad I got the gaps that I did while I was there earlier in the night with you! I could have stayed longer I guess and let Paul drive all the way home. :-P
17-07-2012, 09:21 PM
Brilliant image Alex! You must be glad that you drove back to the Dish!
This is how the sky was as I was driving from Parkes out to the Dish at about 5:40, but it clouded over as soon as I got out of the car... if only I'd arrived 10 minutes earlier :sad:
A beautiful postcard.
17-07-2012, 10:34 PM
great shot - right place right time - bugger ;)
18-07-2012, 12:16 AM
Really beautiful Alex! Good on you for going back. At that time of morning after a long night it's very difficult to turn around and go back.
My conjunction plans were thwarted by a roadblock into the mountains. Had cased out the spot the previous weekend, was all set for an all nighter, car hired, gear packed, thermos hot! :sadeyes:
18-07-2012, 12:24 AM
That's a fantastic photo big Al, should be sold in the visitors centre really, I recon it would be popular - postcard, poster etc...
18-07-2012, 06:27 AM
Stunning shot as always Alex :thumbsup: Well worth the perseverance and patience.
18-07-2012, 07:59 AM
That's absolutely beautiful, thanks for turning back and giving us such a nice view. :)
18-07-2012, 08:14 AM
18-07-2012, 12:12 PM
That's a gorgeous shot Alex. And shot with a Nikon - ooh who would've thought! (I have a Nikon too - just trying to rev up the Canon fanboys/fangirls!).
How many seconds was this? I don't see any star trailing. Is it a stacked image? Beautiful color - it must be a nice lens.
18-07-2012, 02:03 PM
I love this, love the processing on the bright stars and the pleaides.
What did you do there?
18-07-2012, 10:11 PM
Thanks guys for positive comments -- I am extremely glad that it worked in such a short window of opportunity.
Greg - it was a single 10 second exposure at ISO 3200, there was absolutely no time to do a stack.
Mike, I missed the focus just a little - enough to emphasize brighter stars a little without ruining the image (call it double luck). Then I used StarSpikes Pro 2 photoshop plugin and matched the diffraction pattern of Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 stopped down to f/2.8. Using that pattern I let the plugin emphasize the right amount of bright stars and their halo colours. It's all trial and error slider game and the plugin needs to be applied gently -- I do a lot of reference checking with Stellarium.
19-07-2012, 01:50 PM
APOD already (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120719.html)!
Wow that didn't take long :) Congrats Alex!
19-07-2012, 02:24 PM
Great shot Alex, sharp as and congrats on the APOD. Well deserved. :thumbsup:
19-07-2012, 07:29 PM
wow.. you have a hotline to the APOD guys. nice one!
did you have to adjust the colour of the dish illumination at all, or was the twilight enough to balance it?
19-07-2012, 10:48 PM
Congrats on the APOD! Beautiful image and really impressive dynamic range in that shot - for a single capture. The D3s is a brilliant camera!
If you don't mind me asking, how exactly do you enter an APOD? It's not very clear on the site. I've never tried before, but thought I might enter my vid.
Congrats on the APOD Alex
A fantastic image.
20-07-2012, 06:00 PM
Great shots. I want to go there and do a time lapse so bad it hurts.
20-07-2012, 07:18 PM
Well, I just sent it to them and they decided to use it.
I have not done any colour corrections at all, the WB was set at my usual 4250K and I did not need to touch it. If you scroll through your timelapse you will see that the Dish illumination changes colour like disco lights - there are three differently coloured lamps indicating different phases of the aircond.
20-07-2012, 07:25 PM
Guys, thanks again for encouraging comments. Every now and again astrolandscape photography is very rewarding, when things just go right.
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