Journal

Photos of the Moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Mars Conjunction

I just love Moon and Planet conjunctions, and I just love early morning photography. When the two combine that’s when I hope to create something special. On the morning of the 23rd February, a beautiful conjunction rose in the pre-dawn sky. The Crescent Moon with earthshine on display shone brilliantly in the East as it was joined by three other celestial bodies, Mercury, Jupiter and Mars to give a sense of depth and feeling to the morning skies.

For ages last night I sat in bed wondering where to go to photograph this marvellous sight… wondering if it would be cloudy, would it be clear, would the skies provide the same dramatic scenery as I was presented for the Smiley Face Conjunction, would I remember the spare batteries, my tripod, the remote switch, would the alarm wake me up or woul…

Preparing for an Upcoming (and First) Wedding Shoot!

I’ve never really done much people photography. The odd family photo here and there but my main interest and passion has been landscape photography and of course astrophotography.

So you can imagine it came as quite a shock to me when a few weeks ago, Tanya (a friend and ex-work colleague at Ericsson Managed Services) asked me to photograph their upcoming wedding! My first reaction was a combination of shock, fright, nervousness, denial, interest and excitement.

You may be saying “You’re crazy man! Leave it to the professionals!”. And you’d be 100% right. So what influenced my decision?

Continue reading to see how I got myself into this, how I’m preparing for the event, and to see some of the practise shots.

Preparing for an Upcoming (and First) Wedding Shoot!

Cheers

How to View and Photograph the Partial Solar Eclipse

On the 26th January 2009, there’s an Australia Day Eclipse – a Partial Solar Eclipse visible in large parts of Australia.

In this article, I’ll take you through all you need to know in order to view and photograph the Partial Solar Eclipse, including:

  • What is a Solar Eclipse?
  • When and Where can I see it?
  • Safe Viewing Guide
  • Photography Guide
  • Upcoming Solar Eclipse
  • References and Further Reading

To read the article, please go to:
How to View and Photograph the Partial Solar Eclipse

Thanks and good luck!

From the Vault: Comet McNaught C/2006 P1

In a new idea for my site, once a week i’ll feature an old image and bring it back to life and give some background and information on capturing and processing the image(s). I’ll mainly concentrate on images taken over the past few years, before my site was created so they won’t have been featured there before.

First cab off the rank is Comet McNaught (C/2006 P1). It’s a perfect subject to be featured this week because it’s exactly 2 years ago that it first made an appearance in our southern skies. It brightened rapidly to become one of the “great” comets, the best in 40 years and visible even during daylight. At its peak on the 20th January 2007, it had a tail that spread across over 40° of sky.

Please read the article and see the images at:
From the Vault: Comet McNaught C/2006 P1

The Planets in 2008 - A Pictorial Review

Hi all

For the past 3 years, I’ve been doing a pictorial review of the planets – making a composite image of my best planetary images taken during that calendar year. You can see the old composites here: 2005, 2006, 2007 (click on the image to see the full size).

For 2008, I didn’t think I’d be able to keep up the tradition – in my memory, I’d only captured images of Jupiter and only one of Saturn. However yesterday when looking through my 2008 data, I found more than I expected, so it has been possible, but only just, to make a 2008 pictorial review of the planets.

You can read more and see my best planetary astrophotography for 2008 here:
The Planets in 2008 – A Pictorial Review

Thanks for reading.

Featured in Sky&Telescopes 10 Great Astrophotos of 2008!

I received a very exciting early christmas present the other week – an email from Sean Walker, one of the editors of the US Sky&Telescope magazine and website, asking to use two of my images for his upcoming article on the Ten Great Astrophotos of 2008.

The article has now been published, and contains my feature image from the Smiley Face Conjunction on the 1st December 2008, and also one of my images of Jupiter with 3 red spots from May 2008.

Read more at my site: Featured in Sky&Telescope’s 10 Great Astrophotos of 2008