Sunday, 20 May 2012

A wonderful weekend under the stars

Every now and then there is a time where you think to yourself "why can't life always be like this?". Well, that was the story for me this weekend. Two nights camping in the Western Australian Wheatbelt working until the early hours each morning capturing lots of stunning astrophotography!

Wonderful clear conditions, a new camera lens and a bigger car (camping is so much simpler now!) gave me the opportunity to capture a huge range of photographs over the two nights. I don't think I have had a weekend before where I come back expecting to so many different high quality photo's from my efforts.

Like I said - If only life could always be like this!

It will take some time to process all the photographs as it's a fairly time consuming job, I estimate about 30 hours work ahead of me for this weekend's photo's. Even the first examples below are likely to change as I continue to tweak the results - to bring out the most of the photo's and best represent the effect and feeling I am looking for in the shots.

Here are few astro photographs to start with:

The Emu and Milky Way framed by silhouettes


Photograph: The Southern Cross with Pointers (left) and Eta Carina (right)

Photograph: The centre of the Milky Way rising in the east and extending overhead

It feels like after many years of struggling with astrophotography equipment, techniques, and dark sky locations it is all finally coming together for me. First the goldfields trip a few weeks back, now this long weekend. I have settled on a compact and neat equipment setup, I have a handful of stable dark sky viewing locations, and a larger car which makes camping under the stars and doing astrophotography so incredibly easier than the little hatchbacks I am used to. This next two are not stunning astro photo's but do set the scene:

Photograph: Camping under the stars
Night sky over wheatfield (left) and camp (right). The distant light of farm machinery in the distance (likely seeding).

Watch this space - more to come from the weekend.

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