Conjunction Of Crescent Moon, Venus & Mars, 20.02.2015

Conjunction of the Crescent Moon, Venus (left) and Mars (top left), 20.02.2015. The sky cleared up just in time to witness this celestial spectacle, after almost ten days of fog due to the typical wintry inversion weather. The image shows the church of St.Andreas of my hometown Pürkwang, Lower Bavaria, Germany, which was built 1462 with its 46 m high bell-tower. The  scene is taken of seven vertical images at nautical twilight , stitched using Hugin, stars done with Gimp and doing some adjustments with Lightroom. Click on the image to go full-screen (2560 px). Enjoy!

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Hop Fields At Sunset

Revisiting the same place over and over again may sound a bit boring, but the possibilities it holds photographically speaking are diverse. I have spent days and nights out in the hop fields of the Hallertau, Lower Bavaria, either working there in my adolescent days or nowadays, just cruising around to see what might get my attention. No night shots this time, but the setting sun, which is only visible like that around this time of the year. Enjoy!

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About one hour before sunset, the sun is still pretty intense…

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The sun just before hitting some clouds…

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Graphics…

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Just before heading back home, the sun got out of the clouds…

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A crystal clear sun showing up…

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Blog.17.2.15-6…just to hit the horizon haze a few minutes later.

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Back On Track

An almost 3-year long crusade of disorientation has finally came to an end. Just before X-mas 2014, I moved back to the area where I grew up, just a stones throw away from my parental home. I love traveling, but I also love being at home, doing some craft work (joiner) again and carrying for my children. I don´t have to run anymore, looking for something on the outside. If things are supposed to be, they will be. The key to happiness? Be thankful for what you already have…Here are some images from my new and yet so familiar playground. I love it being back home – back on track. And yes – I´m addicted to the Moon… Enjoy!

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The first Crescent Moon after New Moon setting beneath the church where I was baptized…

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Venus to the left, Crescent Moon to the right, while Mercury is hiding behind the bell tower; notice the hare to the lower left…

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Half Moon above the hop fields of the Hallertau…

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Graphics everywhere…

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Solitude…

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Crescent Moon and Venus setting at nautical twilight…

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Intuitive Guidance (To The Night Sky)

About three years ago, I went to a place in Austria called ´Fernpass`, to watch the rise of the Crescent Moon two days before New Moon. This year, the same event has been scheduled on the morning of the 20th of November. Unfortunately, we have had some nasty weather the days before, with clouds, fog and rain. I was checking the weather forecast, again and again, and the radar said it would clear around the foothills of the alps. So I got my stuff packed, but hesitated again. Driving 3 h/250 km one way, just to photograph the rise of the Crescent Moon, is one thing, but having to show up at work the same morning is another. And how many times have I been to locations and the forecast had been not so satisfying? So I called my boss (which by the way is a good friend of mine), just to make sure it would be ok if I would show up for work at 10 am the next morning. After I got that ok, I sat back and waited, until I got that final signal: “Go”. It rained along most of the drive, and by arriving there around 8pm, I couldn´t even see for more than 20 meters. Shit. What about the forecast? my intuition? what am I doing here? I prepared something to eat and thought about going to bed (in my van) and to give it a try the next morning. But, I don´t know how or why, I packed my stuff and hiked up the gravel road to the lookout, I had known from the years before. Haven´t seen that much yellowish glowing eyes of roe deers through the fog since I´m out at nights. Arriving at my spot, I took some images to document the ´disaster`, not seeing a halfway clear sky. Though, I still had my vision of a clear sky in mind, but I took my camera of the tripod, folded the tripod, put my down cloth back into the bag and arranged everything heading back to the car. As I lifted my backpack and turned around, I could not believe my sight…

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Time difference of those two images: 7 minutes!! Same settings, just 7 minutes apart!! Fog is gone, just some clouds left down at the valley floor and some vehicles driving along the summit road. All images taken at Fernpass, Austria. Winter glory is showing up, feat. the rise of Orion, Hyades and Pleiades. I have been so overwhelmed at this sight/to come up here and to wait, that I almost forgot to set up my camera again and to take pictures. LOL. Its been clear all night and the next morning. After the Crescent Moon rose in its glory, the sky got overcast again, so I could leave this place before sunrise and headed back another 250 km to work. Testing my intuition has been successful. A night to remember! Enjoy!

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Orion rising above Mieminger Kette, Fernpass, Austria…

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6-verts-pano, Fernpass, Austria…

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Rise of the Crescent Moon, 4-verts-pano…

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Crescent Moon, two days before New Moon…

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Crescent Moon @ predawn, Fernpass, Austria…

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“The only real valuable thing is intuition.” (Albert Einstein)

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Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/intuition.html#ub7h1l1se4Rm6UBW.99

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!

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Moonlit beech forest at night…

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Oncoming car headlights…

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

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

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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!

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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

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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!

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Civilian twilight @ the hop gardens…

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Stars popping out @ nautical twilight…

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Light pollution becomes visible @ astronomical twilight…

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

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My office…

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

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” 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

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