Autumnal Glory

Here are some of my favorites from this fall color season – all of them taken around my home. Tried something new by including the autumnal colors into some night scenes. Walking through a foggy forest at night, illuminated by the Moon, is something enchanting. Hearing some grunting wild pigs during day time is also quite impressive. All images are taken at Nature Reserve “Weltenburger Enge”, Lower Bavaria, Germany. Enjoy!

.

Herbst-12

.

Herbst-13

.

Herbst-8

.

Herbst-7

.

Herbst-6

.

Herbst-4

.

Herbst-3

.

Herbst-2

.

Herbst-1

.

Herbst-9

Moonlit beech forest at night…

.

Herbst-11

Oncoming car headlights…

.

Herbst-10

Fog is blocking the stars, but some still make it through…

.

Herbst-14

Six-verts-pano, feat. Moon, Danube River, constellation of Aquila, fog and some autumnal glory…

.

This came to my mind while reading a book called: Celebrating the Universe!: |the spirituality and science of stargazing| by James Mullaney:

“I’m happy at home,
and also like in nature,
 
I like the sea,
and also love the mountains,
 
but most of all, I love
being among the stars.”

Mars Over Misurina, South Tyrol

This is my favorite image from my latest journey to the Dolomites, South Tyrol. A 24-hours, day-to-day trip, driving a total of 900 km, just to photograph the first Crescent Moon after New Moon over the Dolomites. The weather forecast looked promising, but arriving at the Tre Cime parking lot above Misurina, storm clouds were still rolling in and out and the thin Crescent Moon got sucked away by them. Later that night, it cleared up and in the morning, a starry sky showed up. The Dolomites never disappoint, and the views are otherworldly. Can´t wait to get back before the high alpine roads are closed for the winter. Enjoy!

.

VZ0A0262-1-VZ0A0271-10-1.Add-1

Planet Mars over Misurina @ the Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy. Ten vertical images stitches via Hugin, showing the Gruppo dei Cardei to the left, the Milky Way, Mars and the Monte Cristallo Range, home of Silvester Stallone´s classic “Cliffhanger”…08:42pm/26.09.2014

.

Hop Gardens, Nocturnal

Some impressions from my latest visit to my beloved hop gardens of the Hallertau, Lower Bavaria. These fields are just a stone´s throw away from where I used to live and to roam the streets. The structures of the poles and wires building a very graphic design against the changing colors of the night sky. During the transition from nautical twilight towards astronomical twilight, light pollution from even the smallest villages become visible. One of the very few nights of 2014, we have had a clear sky on a New Moon´s night. Until I was 17 years old, I did all of the work according to the hop gardens, myself, helping my parents on our farm. Nowadays, I just enjoy being out there at nights, photographing the hop fields and  listening to the sounds of the night, and sometimes having a chat with some curios farmers. Enjoy!

.

Blog.29.09.14-1

Civilian twilight @ the hop gardens…

.

Blog.29.09.14-2

Stars popping out @ nautical twilight…

.

Blog.29.09.14-3

Light pollution becomes visible @ astronomical twilight…

.

Blog.29.09.14-6

Feat. Antares, Mars, Saturn & the asteroid Vesta…

.

Blog.29.09.14-4

My office…

.

Blog.29.09.14-5

An oncoming vehicle illuminating the structures of the hop gardens – Milky Way towering above…

.

” Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.”  Alan Watts

.

Rho Ophiuchus, Unmodified

This is the next shot of our Bavarian/Austrian collaboration, the famous Rho Ophiuchus region in the constellation of Scorpio, close to the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. My first stacked deep sky image done with an unmodified camera, the 5d III, processed by my friend Bernd Weinzierl from Eisenerz/Austria. Please take a lot at his great work here: http://innerberg-astro.lima-city.de/index.html. and a high-res version here: http://innerberg-astro.lima-city.de/Bilder%20gross/Widefields/Rho%20Ophiuchus.jpg . Some three years ago when I looked at such images, I was blown away by the sheer beauty of them. Today, I´m still blown away…only difference – I´m doing them by myself now – LOL. Here´s an interesting link if you want to go deeper into Rho Ophiuchus: http://www.constellation-guide.com/constellation-list/ophiuchus-constellation/. Enjoy!

.

Rho.Ophiuchus-2

One of the original Raw-files…

.

Rho.Ophiuchus-1

Rho Ophiuchus: 34 images stacked, with a total exposure time of 30 min., East-Coast Australia, Aug. 2013, 5d III & 70-200 @ 70mm…

.

Traveling Austria Is Always Rewarding

Here are some impressions from my last weeks spontaneously sojourn to Austria. Starting on Sunday evening, I stop by almost every time while traveling south at one of my favorite places/trees along the Autobahn. As I had reached my first “High-Alpine-Road” destination late at night at the Rossfeld-Panorama-Road at 1570 m, the clouds took over and the rising Moon got swallowed away. Heading further south the next day, I came across a summit road called Sölkpass (1790 m), which traverses through the same Nature Park. Reaching a parking lot just under the summit at 1750m, I stayed there the whole afternoon and were waiting for what to come. A very serene place, and in retrospect my favorite one from that tour. Heading south-west, I reached a High-Alpine-Road called Nockalm-Höhenstraße, but the weather started to be not that cooperative anymore. While there is no such thing as bad weather, the good thing is that there won’t be to many tourists around as well. The clouds rolled in and out that night, but I had the whole summit at 2040 m that night and the next morning to myself. Next stop at the Malta Hochalmstraße and reaching its endpoint at Kölnbrein Talsperre at some 1900 m, the weather started to get colder and colder. From 22°C down at the valley floor, to 6°C on top in the late afternoon. No chance of getting any nightscapes because of the starting rain, I spent most of the time in my trusty Sprinter. The last and final destination of my travels had not been a High-Alpine-Road like the other days before, but a man-made building on top of a mountain called Pyramidenkogel, south of world-famous Wörthersee. It´s the world tallest wooden tower (100 m) and the 360°-views from above are just breathtaking. Six days of traveling and camping five nights at different places mostly up in the mountains, I got back sound and safe and just have to say thank you Austria for being that friendly and hospitable (as always) and bringing back so many memories. Enjoy!

.

Blog.28.08.2014-1

Big Dipper & Lonesome Tree, Upper Bavaria…

.

Blog.28.08.2014-2

Headlight-tracks & Stars @ Sölkpass, Austria…

.

Blog.28.08.2014-3

Yours truly, Olight SR 95 & Sprinter enjoying the Milkyway @ Nockalmhöhenstraße, Austria…

.

Blog.28.08.2014-4

Kölnbrein dam & Air-walk, Malta Hochalmstraße, Austria…

.

Blog.28.08.2014-5

Wooden tower @ Pyramidenkogel, Austria…

.

“Life is not happening to you – Life is responding to you.”

.

Going Deep With: Canon 1100 d(a), Vixen Polarie And PixInsight

Since about one year now, I got those deep sky images lying on my hard drive, which I took back then while traveling the East Coast of Australia in August 2013. All I could do was processing the single images via Lightroom and even making mosaics via Hugin software. The results have been satisfying, but I knew there must be more to it. So I got myself PixInsight (http://pixinsight.com), a special software for processing deep sky images, and most important to me, it also runs on a Mac. Taking images is one thing, but processing them (to me) is much more complex. So I got myself that miraculous piece of software, but could´t work with properly until my Austrian based friend Bernd Weinzierl got to my aid. Make sure you take a look at his stuff at: http://innerberg-astro.lima-city.de/index.html. We did some sort of joint-venture then; Bernd processed my images with PixInsight and the result almost blew my mind. Never before had I dreamed about making such MilkyWay shots myself – until now. Makes me want to head back to Australia right now and shoot the hell out of it while the center of our home galaxy is still at the zenith – a paradise for deep-sky-imaging. But for now, I got enough stuff already to process to, not speaking about the mosaics possible now…stay tuned. All you need for doing this is: a modified camera like the Canon 1100 d, a startracking device like the Vixen Polarie, a sturdy (carbon) tripod, two ballheads, an intervalometer, a fast lens (f2.8 or less) and of course clear skies. And most of all, someone who can operate the complex PixInsight software. Once you are into it, new dimensions will unfold – the stars are yours! Enjoy!

.

Blog.15.8.14-3

Original Raw-file: 119 sec., f 3.5, Iso 1600 @ 20mm…looking right at the center of our home galaxy, the Milkyway…Scorpio to the left, Sagittarius to the right…including star clusters and hydrogen-alpha nebulae…

.

Blog.15.8.14-4

Processed Raw-file via Lightroom 5 only…

.

Blog.15.8.14-2

Screenshot: eleven images, stacked with PixInsight…

.

Blog.15.8.14-1

Final outcome, done with PixInsight and CS5 by Bernd Weinzierl…high-res image can be seen here: http://innerberg-astro.lima-city.de/Bilder%20gross/Widefields/Milchstrassenzentrum.jpg

.

“Life is like a camera. Focus on what is important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives. And if things don´t turn out, take another shot.”

.

Having Fun With: My Kids, The Crescent Moon & The Olight SR 95

Unexpectedly, the skies cleared up tonight and what better to do than catching my kids and heading to a spot which looked promisingly good for aligning with the Crescent Moon. TPE (http://photoephemeris.com) confirmed my speculations and we were right on spot for the setting Crescent Moon. What better than spending such moments with your loved ones? Helena (9) was wearing one of my hoodies (from Australia) and Jakob (10) was wearing his bathrobe…while I was managing the incredible Olight SR 95 (http://olightworld.com/product/sr95-intimidator/), a flashlight of it´s own…Enjoy!

.

Blog.31.7.14-850

The Crescent Moon @ the chapel, illuminated from some 400 m afar…

.

Blog.31.7.14-852

Having fun @ twilight…

.

Blog.31.7.14-851

The setting Crescent Moon, Feat. Arcturus (top right)…

.