Tag Archives: South Tyrol

My Favorite Images Of 2020

2020 has been  some sort of a roller coaster ride to all of us I guess. But despite Covid 19, my life this past year has been dominated by whitnessing and photographing the coolest comet in ages, traveling to France with one of my sons and of course roaming the back yards of my beloved home. Life is good, even with a lot of restrictions. So here are my twelve favorites of 2020. Enjoy and have a good one in 2021!

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Milky Way above Hohe Göll Ridge, Upper Bavaria, Germany…

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Comet Neowise, Stilfser Joch, South Tyrol…

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Setting crescent Moon above hop fields, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Crescent Moon and Venus above hop fields, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Comet Neowise and noctilucent clouds above my home town, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Comet Neowise at Stilfser Joch, South Tyrol…

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Bidding farewell to fading comet Neowise, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Setting crescent Moon above a field of round bales of straw, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Setting full Moon in the morning, seen from Biarritz, France…

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Twilight at Col d´Osquich, France…

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Mother Mary mosaic at Lourdes, France…

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Star gazing with my son – Saturn and Jupiter above our heads, Cirque de Navacelles, France…

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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!

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

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Vinschgau valley, South Tyrol…

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Road to Stilfser Joch, South Tyrol…

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Going downhill, Stilfser Joch, South Tyrol…

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Lago Scale, Italy…

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Passo Tonale, Italy…

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Umbrail Pass, Switzerland…

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Road sign, Italian style, Stilfser Joch, Italy…

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Torri di Fraele, Italy…

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Gavia Pass, Italy…

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Lago di Cancano, Italy…

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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!

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

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

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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!

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

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Comet gazing…

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Colorful comet Neowise…

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

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

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Fading away during nautical twilight…

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

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

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

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My Favorite Images Of 2019

Here are my favorite photos, taken 2019. Head over to Jim Goldstein´s site, to take part in his annual blog project ( https://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/2019/12/16/blog-project-your-best-photos-from-2019/ ). Cheers and have a good one in 2020!

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Total eclipse of the Moon, 21st of Jan. 2019, seen from my home @ Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Telescope shot from the eclipse, with a SC 8″ and a Canon 5d3, full size, no crop…

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The beauty of the winter night sky, feat. Orion with its deep sky objects, taken @ Simplon Pass, 2005m, Switzerland…

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Lenticular clouds at sunset @ Bernina Pass, 2328m, Switzerland…

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One of the most beautiful sunrises in the Alps I`ve ever seen @ Bernina Pass, 2328m, Switzerland…

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Majestic Dolomites and Dürrensteinhütte @ Plätzwiese, South Tyrol…

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The Milky Way in all its glory along the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, 2571m, Austria…

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Mosaic of the partial eclipse of the Moon, seen from my home, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Misty morning @ Lago di Vajont, Italy…

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Like out of a fairy tale, but just an hour´s drive away from my home…crescent Moon setting over castle Haag, Upper Bavaria, Germany…

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A feathered critter at the lower left watching the setting Moon – seen from my living room, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Fog creating some mystical mood @ Timmelsjoch, 2474m, Austria/Italy…

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Timmelsjoch High Alpine Road, 2509 m

On Sept. 19th 2019, I went on a short-trip to Timmelsjoch, a high alpine road in the Alps, connecting the Ötztal in Austria with the Passeiertal in South Tyrol/Italy. Spent the night up there, met some nice people, took some photos and got back home the next day with a refueled soul. Enjoy!

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Towards the Timmelsjoch, from the Austrian side…

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Timmelsjoch, 2509 m…

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Nautical twilight, facing the north-west…

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Low stratus coming in, adding some drama to the night sky…

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Dense fog creating some mystical moods…

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The next morning, facing South Tyrol…

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Like a spaceship, the so-called ´Passmuseum`…

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Border sign ´Austria`…

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Timmelsjoch sign…

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The so-called ´Fernrohr`…

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Solitude…

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Re: The Milky Way – By Canon 1100 D(a) & Vixen Polarie

In 2012 I did a post about imaging the Milky Way combining it with a photogenic foreground (https://wp.me/p1aVSr-A8). The images were taken more than five years ago now, using a Vixen Polarie  and a modified Canon 1100 D – which makes it a 1100 D (a). Back then I took a set of images of the same subject, with exposure times up to 5 minutes, hoping that there might be some software out there for stacking star images and combining them with a static foreground image, preferably (but not always) taken with the same camera settings prior to the others. The only difference: turning off the tracker device while shooting the foreground. The shown images in this post are all composites, with a “tracked” background and a “non-tracked” foreground, using PixInsight (stacking), Gimp (merging), Viveza (local adjustments) and Lightroom (general adjustments). Next step will be putting together a mosaic of a set of stacked images of our Milky Way, taken in August 2013, East coast Australia. Enjoy!

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South Tyrol, Italy, left: 5 images stacked with Pixinsight, right: final image with a total of 423 sec. for the stars and 179 sec. for the foreground…

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The Dolomites, Italy, left: 6 images stacked with Pixinsight, right: final image with a total of 1024 sec. for the stars and 25 sec. for the foreground…

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Großglockner Ridge, Austria, left: 14 images stacked with Pixinsight, right: final image with a total of 1318 sec. for the stars and 357 sec. for the foreground…

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The Großglockner, the highest mountain in Austria, left: 23 images stacked with Pixinsight, right: final image with a total of 1191 sec. for the stars and 169 sec. for the foreground…

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Brennkogel and Hochtor, Großglockner High Alpine Road, Austria, left: 10 images stacked with Pixinsight, right: final image with a total of 1625 sec. for the stars and 25 sec. for the foreground…

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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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Italy, Nocturnal…

All images are taken in Italy during the last three years, including places like South Tyrol, Gargano Peninsula and Bologna. The ones showing the Occultation of Jupiter were taken some 30km north of the city of Bologna, 15th July 2012, the very morning and time, my mother has died. First time I show them in public…

Music by one of California´s finest, Social Distortion, song´s called “Let it be me”. Enjoy!

(Push the HD-button if you like for a higher resolution…)

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“There is a force in the Universe, which, if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results.”

(Mahatma Gandhi)

Into The Wind

“Into The Wind” by Jake Ducey is a story/book about his journey traveling the world for a couple of months, in search of his real meaning of life. Ironically, at the end of his journey, he found out, that everything he was looking for, is not to be found in the physical world, but is already within him. Like the monk told him: “In your life it took you until you traveled around the physical world for months before you found what you wanted, which was actually within yourself.” The book is full of quotes and “real stuff”, which I have heard before, but which I can relate to just recently now. I myself has been on the run for a long time, traveling the whole world, but wasn´t even aware of what I was looking for. Now I know its been some kind of running away, some sort of getting distracted, looking for something new, only to find out, when I got back home, that I wasn´t satisfied, wasn´t happy at all. So I went for the next travel, filling up a hole for a short period of time, just to find out that that hole was empty again after a while. So what to do? Only one way left – to go in search within yourself! “It´s true, all begins within not without!”. That means you have to face your deepest fears, which I can tell from my experiences is very challenging – and I´m just at the beginning. But better to start now than never. I still love traveling and photographing very much and it fills my soul, but I don´t need it all the time anymore, like the past three years. Sounds weird, even to me, but there are more important things in the world than filling up your ego. Once again, I´m very touched by what the monk had to say: “…that if you aren´t making someone else´s life better, then you are wasting your time”. “…because those you give will receive.” I don´t know where this journey will lead me, but the journey within myself is definitely worth looking for.

By the way – the images are from my latest sojourn in search of the night sky (…and enlightenment 😉 ) @ Staller Sattel, Antholz Valley, South Tyrol, Italy. Nothing can describe the beauty and the joy of spending a night out under the stars and the rising Moon. Enjoy!

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Destination arrived…

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Fort from WW II…

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Camping de Luxe…

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Around 10:00 pm…

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Around 12:00 pm, the rising Moon in the back illuminating the scenery…

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Around 5:00 am, a starry night and Jupiter above the ridge…

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Pre-dawn and Venus Belt…

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First light…

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Camp in the morning and  Moon…

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Again, camping de Luxe…

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Seven frame vertical pano, handheld with the G1X…

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Moon setting above Rieserferner Ridge, South Tyrol…

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