Tour de France, Nightscapes, Aug./Sept. 2020

Back from a three-weeks tour around France in Aug./Sept. 2020, traveling some 5700 km with my son and my trusted Sprinter van. Not to many nighttime shooting possibilities this time, but we got away with some cool locations. As always, nightscapes first. Enjoy!

.

Setting crescent Moon above the Channel…

.

Setting crescent Moon @ Cap Gries-Nez, with the lights of the south coast of England to the right…

.

Constellation of Cassiopeia @ Longues-sur-Mer…

.

Reflections @ Longues-sur-Mer…

.

Big Dipper and Arcturus @ Longues-sur-Mer…

.

Camper van parade @ Longues-sur-Mer…

.

Crepuscular rays after sunset @ Biarritz…

.

Full Moon setting in the morning, with Belt of Venus and Earth Shadow, looking towards Spain…

.

Nautical twilight @ Col d´Osquich…

.

Enjoying the show @ Col d´Osquich…

.

Saturn, Jupiter, Milkyway @ Lac des Gaves…

.

Saturn and Jupiter @ Chateau de Queribus…

.

Saturn, Jupiter, Milkyway @ Cirque de Navacelles…

.

Milkyway above the light polluted Cirque de Navacelles…

.

The beauty of the night sky – what better than that @ Cirque de Navacelles…

.

Round Bales Of Straw At Night

Just got back tonight with some impressions from a field with round bales of straw, just a stones throw away from where I live. From tomorrow on, I´ll be heading on a “Tour de France”, joined by one of my sons – three weeks of traveling, camping and goofying around. Enjoy!

.

The first crescent Moon after New Moon setting above a field of round bales of straw…

.

At the end of nautical twilight, the first stars become visible…

.

Simplicity…

.

More and more stars becoming visible…

.

An oncoming farmer with his machinery providing some artificial light…

.

The beauty of the night sky, big dipper in the center…

.

Saturn and Jupiter and some satellite flare…

.

Stilfser Joch, Umbrail Pass and Gavia Pass – Daytime Impressions

Being back home from a tour, I´m mostly searching through the nighttime images I took back then and process them. Which doesn´t mean I leave out the daytime images – they just come later. Over the time I have learned to take the advantage of a shot when it arises, no matter what, even I don´t arrive at my designated destination in time. So here are some daytime impressions from my recent trip to South Tyrol, Switzerland and Italy! Enjoy!

.

Watering of the fertile grounds of Vinschgau valley, South Tyrol…

.

Vinschgau valley, South Tyrol…

.

Road to Stilfser Joch, South Tyrol…

.

Going downhill, Stilfser Joch, South Tyrol…

.

Lago Scale, Italy…

.

Passo Tonale, Italy…

.

Umbrail Pass, Switzerland…

.

Road sign, Italian style, Stilfser Joch, Italy…

.

Torri di Fraele, Italy…

.

Gavia Pass, Italy…

.

Lago di Cancano, Italy…

.

Comet Neowise: Stacked Image

Stacking a set of comet frames can become a real pain, since the outer solar visitor travels much faster than the stars (not exactly right, because the stars don`t move, but it looks like that because of the rotation of the Earth). So if you stack a set of frames, you either limit your set to a maximum of about 10 min. of total exposure time (before the comet starts blurring), or you use all of your frames and stack one for the stars and one for the comet, and combine them. This option didn`t work out for me this time, so I stacked 10 frames (out of 35), 60 sec. each. One can`t believe, how much more information a stacked image got. I`m using Pixinsight, a processing platform specialized in astrophotography. It got a steep learning curve, to say the least; because of that, I`m more than happy with the outcome. Enjoy!

.

Single shot from that set, 60 sec., 200mm/2.8, full frame, Polarie, LR only…

.

Stacked image, 10 x 60 sec., 200mm/2.8, Polarie, PixInsight, Viveza, LR, Stilfser Joch, South Tyrol, 07/19/2020…

.

Chasing Comet Neowise, July 18th-21st

I got two days off from work so I packed my stuff and went to South Tyrol, Switzerland and Italy on Saturday, to travel to some high alpine passes I always wanted to see but haven´t been able to in the past. Stilfser Joch, Umbrail Pass and Gavia Pass were the chosen ones, all of them ranking between 2500 – 2800 m. The first night was a blast; the sky cleared up and comet Neowise was easily visible to the northwest, while the Milkyway was towering in the south. Around 4:00 am, the last crescent Moon before New Moon rose to the east, with Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter wandering along the ecliptic. The impressions of those nights are almost not bearable, and since I´m traveling on my own, there is no one to talk to about feelings and emotions. Very intense nights. From crystal clear skies to sheet lightning, I got it all, not to forget the stunning scenery during day time. So here are just my favorite comet images from those three nights and hopefully I will be able to process/stack a set of single frames of Neowise from the first night. Enjoy!

.

The sky cleared up on the first night, Stilfser Joch, 2757m, South Tyrol…

.

Comet gazing…

.

Colorful comet Neowise…

.

What a beauty, 81 sec., 200 mm, Polarie…

.

Neowise to the left, Venus, Hyades and Pleiades to the right…

.

Fading away during nautical twilight…

.

Lots of airglow around on the second night, Umbrail Pass, 2501 m, Switzerland…

.

Neowise hiding behing 3000 m mountains, just showing its tail, surrounded by airglow, Gavia Pass, 2621 m, Italy…

.

but finally showed up during nautical twilight, making one last impression…

.

More Of Comet Neowise, July 13th/14th 2020

Some more impressions of comet Neowise from July 13th and 14th. Lots of clouds around and short nights, but the view is astonishing, to say the least, and it won´t be back for the next 6.800 years. Enjoy!

.

Nautical twilight at a wheat field, where minutes prior a badger crossed my path…

.

what better?

.
Around the hop fields

.

July 14th…

.

Clouds  coming in…

.

Between the clouds…

.

End of nautical twilight, colors are fading…

.

Single shot: 60 sec. @ 200 mm and Polarie…

.

Comet C/2020 F3 Neowise, July 10th 2020

Haven´t seen such a beauty of a comet since Panstarrs in 2014. Went out to one of my favorite locations around my home this morning at 3 am to see what I would get. Not only a comet, but also noctilucent clouds – very rare around the 48th latitude where I live. My jaws almost hit the ground when I saw the first image appearing on my screen out in the fields. But there has been more: the Moon, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, the Pleiades, the Hyades and the very faint Neptun and Uranus. What a morning to start with. Enjoy!

.

Comet Neowise and NLC…

.

My hometown church, Neowise and NLC…

.

.

.

.

Venus within the Hyades, Aldebaran (below)…

.

NLC, comet Neowise and Venus to the right…

click on the image to go full screen…

.

 

The Beauty Of The Night Sky

In my adolscent days, I spent the nights out partying with my friends, these days I silently spend them photographing the night sky. Have not been out at nights for almost one year now, so it got time to travel to my favorite destination in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. Lots of people around at this time of the year, even more after loosening the coronavirus restrictions. But when the night falls in, everything calms down. Silence and solitude kicks in – what I like most. Enjoy!

.

52 x 13 sec. for the stars, 1 x 200 sec. for the foreground, stacked with PixInsight, merged with Gimp, adjustments with Viveza and Lightroom, 5 D3 @ 35mm, no Polarie this time…

.

Crescent Moon and Venus around the Hop Fields

We got some pretty clear weather the last couple of weeks. After New Moon on the 23rd of April 2020, I was heading out every evening after that to photograph the Crescent Moon and Venus around the hop fields of my home, the Hallertau, the world largest hop planting area. What a playground to roam. Enjoy and take care!

.

24th April 2020:

.

.

.

.

.

25th April 2020:

.

.

.

26th April 2020:

.

.

.