Tag Archives: Star Trails

Sanctum

By definition, sanctum means “a sacred place, especially a shrine within a temple or church”, or also “a private place from which most people are excluded”, synonyms would be: holy place, retreat, hideaway, sanctuary…To me it means spending the night out under the stars and the Moon, being all by myself, fueling up my soul and mind, enjoying silence and solitude, no matter where in the world I´m. Enjoy!

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Chadar Trek, Ladakh/Zanskar, India…

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Hopfields, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Rossfeld, Upper Bavaria, Germany…

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East Coast, Australia…

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East Coast, Australia…

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East Coast, Australia…

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East Coast, Australia…

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East Coast, Australia…

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East Coast, Australia…

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South Tyrol, Italy…

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Black Forrest, Germany…

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Black Forrest, Germany…

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The Dolomites, Italy…

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Rossfeld, Upper Bavaria, Germany…

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The Dolomites, Italy…

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Hopfields, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Zillertal, Austria…

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Mali Alan, Croatia…

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Ofenpass, Switzerland…

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The Upper Isar Valley

Impressions from my latest trip early this week to the Upper Isar Valley, a nature reserve between Vorderriß and Wallgau, Upper Bavaria. A well protected and unique habitat we got here in Germany, one of its kind in whole central Europe. Enjoy!

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Overlooking the wide river valley between Fall and Vorderriß…

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Not much water around at this time of the year…

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Gravel banks are constantly changing…

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A faint solar halo above…

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and some shimmering water below…

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Informationpanel…

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The sun´s going down above the valley…

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and the night falls in, making the brightest stars visible, like Sirius to the left…

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Canis Minor (top left), Canis Major with Sirius (center left) and Orion (center right), and the Wettersteingebirge in the distance…

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Star trails above the Upper Isar Valley…

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The next morning – feels like being in Canada!

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The Dish: CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, NSW, Australia

While touring Australia last summer, we had the chance to stop by the CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope (http://www.parkes.atnf.csiro.au) in early September, located some 400 km west of Sydney.

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Where the hell is Dubbo….?

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Visiting times vice-versa would be cool…

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Here we are…

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Some facts…

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Did you know…?

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I did not…

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This image is a combination of two different images, from two different places…the foreground, Parkes Radio Telescope, taken at daytime, and the background, star trails, taken somewhere between Lightning Ridge and Roma, on the way down to Parkes. Since it is not allowed to stay at this place at nights, that´s been my only chance to get an image I had pre visualized before I got there. Some sort of marriage of heaven and earth, or of celestial and terrestrial ´objects`. Did I ever mentioned before that I Love Australia…?! Enjoy!

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2013 – A Year In Twelve Images

Not much writing this time – just enjoy the images which I consider my favorites of 2013. The images will also participate on Jim Goldstein´s blog, which you can find here: http://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/2013/12/18/blog-project-photos-2013/ . Thanks Jim for the effort! Enjoy!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!

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Star Trails, Lusen Mt., Bavarian Forest NP, Bavaria, Germany…

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South Pole Star Trails, Broken Head Reserve, New South Wales, Australia…

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Shanti Stupa, 3600 m a.s.l., Leh, Ladakh, India…

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Zanskar River Gorge, 3300 m a.s.l., Chadar Trek, Zanskar, India…

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First Moon Light and Stars, 3400 m a.s.l., Zanskar Mountains, Zanskar, India…

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Deaf and Dumb Elder Lama, Lingshed Monastery, Lingshed, 3950 m a.s.l., Zanskar, India…

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Hop Fields of the Hallertau and Stars, Lower Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany…

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Dawn above the Clouds, Berchtesgaden, Upper Bavaria, Germany…

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First Crescent Moon after New Moon, Nambucca Heads, New South Wales, Australia…

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Surfer and Sunrise, Dickie Beach, Queensland, Australia…

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Motor boat at nautical twilight, Bustard Bay, Town of 1770, Queensland, Australia…

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Reflections at Lake Awoonga, Queensland, Australia…

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The Compelling Image – Photography Contest, Chapter One

Chapter one of the Compelling Image Contest “Edge of the earth, corner of the sky”, presented by the master himself, Art Wolfe (http://www.artwolfe.com), and Shutterlove (http://www.shutterloveonline.com), has been announced earlier this year. I´m very happy to see that two of my images got credit. Choosing images for a contest (or a portfolio) is the hardest part of the work I reckon and a bit of luck does the rest. Here is the link to the contest gallery: http://www.thecompellingimagecontest.com/gallery/2012/ and a link to a blog post I did some time ago meeting Art Wolfe: https://wernerpriller.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/art-wolfe/ . Thanks to everyone at the contest! Enjoy!

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Nuvolau Mt., the Dolomites, Italy...

First Runner Up: ´Startrails above the Dolomites`

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Honorable Mention: ´Stars above the Zanskar Gorge`

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“Balance between positive and negative – considering dark and light!”

“Hit me over the head with your subject – never leave me guessing!”

(Art Wolfe)

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Hop Fields Of The Hallertau, Bavaria

The largest continuous hop planting area in the world is called “Hallertau”, which is derived from Old High German and means something like “a forest who hides its interior” or “wild/primeval forest”. The description ´..who hides its interior..`  also  fits well to most of the country-side residents of the Hallertau, including myself….a special breed of characters! The area is covering nearly 15 000 hectare and is part of Lower and Upper Bavaria, situated south of the Danube River and in the heart of  Bavaria, Germany, geographically seen. Growing up as a (hop)farmers kid, I know the flow of work and the amount of work involved in doing hops, but that changed a lot in the last 30 years.

These images are also a reminiscence to my “old” home; since I moved to Landshut, the capital of Lower Bavaria, one year ago, I have not been that much around at my former playgrounds. Luckily, from last Sunday on, I got three fantastic nights in a row spending out there in the fields and I enjoyed it very much. Knowing all the places, the back roads, the people and the locations where to photograph, brings back a lot of memories. The silhouettes of the empty fields make a fantastic foreground with the different light conditions. It does not always have to be the far away countries – the beauty lies in front of you! Enjoy!

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…reflected in the rear windows of my drive…

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Wires hanging loose from the main wires and waiting to be put into ground…

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Venus Belt (pink) and Earth Shade (grey, bottom), showing up to the east after sunset…

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…while twilight is producing different amazing colors to the west…

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Hyades and Pleiades showing up after nautical twilight, including a lot of light pollution at the horizon…

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My most ´photogenic` hop field to date at nautical twilight – and some light pollution…

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L.-r.: Sirius, Orion, Hyades, Jupiter and Pleiades above the hop fields of the Hallertau…

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Centering Orion, you will get horizontal trails along the Galactic Equator…

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“Stars-Shower”

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What better to spend a night out in the fields?…

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“If the hops once scratched, he can not let go.” (old saying)

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On Location: Zanskar River, Ladakh, India

Got back sound and safe from my recent trip to Ladakh, India on Monday night and got a few days then to sort things out. A  fantastic trip I couldn´t have planned and done myself – only with the help and organisation of Thomas Boehm, who did the so-called Chadar-Trek more than 20 times now. Chadar means `Beyond the Ice´ and that describes it true in every single meaning. Once you step down into the Zanskar Gorge some 16 km south of Chilling, Ladakh, there is almost no way back. There is no walking track, you just have to find your way on the ice, and that is sometimes very difficult. The surface varies from smooth, snow-covered ice to open running water,  from turquoise to dark-grey colored ice, sometimes you see the water running under the ice, and very often you have to walk through ice-cold water rubber-boot-high. If that wouldn´t be enough, carrying a 17 kg backpack and the cold the whole day do its rest. Camping in caves, collecting some rare firewood, building a fire, get some food and do a bit of talking were the main things in the afternoon. After 8:00 pm everyone was in his sleeping bag, to recover for the next day, with another walking of 5-6 hours until we reached the next cave, where we would find shelter from the freezing wind, sometimes from snowfall and onetime from falling rocks. I also have to say a big Thank You to our three locals, who helped us with carrying the kitchen/cooking stuff, doing the scouting and most of all for their cheerfulness all the times, no matter how could and wet their feet were! Starting at an elevation of around 3200 m, we reached the village of Lingshed, with its famous monastery at an elevation of 3950 m on our 5th day.

The images in this post are from the second night, were I was still in good shape and therefore I took those night images – which I regretted very much the next day. Too less sleep/recovery took a lot out of me the next day walking and carrying the backpack, but since today, after processing these images first of all others, I´m very glad I did them that night – no pain, no gain!

So here are the first images of the frozen Zanskar River, Northern India and a whole bunch will follow! Enjoy!

.Blog.15.2.13-2The rising full moon to the left illuminated the whole scenery, while Orion is above the Zanskar Range…

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Blog.15.2.13-3Around midnight, the full moon illuminated the whole Gorge; a very intense feeling, hearing the water rushing close by, hearing the ice cracking here and then and having the feeling to be in outer space…

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Blog.15.2.13-1Startrails over the Zanskar River/Gorge; maybe the first ever trails image from this area in winter; no light-pollution, no aircraft tracks, no nothing; the bright lane to the left is planet Jupiter, left from that is the star Aldebaran of Taurus, the prominent lane to the right is the star Capella of Auriga…

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If you want to do a trip of a life-time like this yourself, check out this site: http://lets-go-trekking.com/touren.php?aktion=5&sprache=en&PHPSESSID=8c2b5d302998ea11bcd5de7d014329af and give Thomas a shout!

Cheers!

Bavarian Forest National Park – Lusen Mt.

In order to do some gear-testing and last preparations for my coming trip to Ladakh/India next week, I traveled to the Bavarian Forest National Park, Lower Bavaria, Germany. The weather forecast for this area looked pretty good – in other terms: a starry night to come – the first in almost 8 weeks! Though this NP is only 1 1/2 hours drive away from where I live, I have not been to any of those mountains so far. My chosen destination has been Lusen Mt., 1373 m, which is only a stone´s throw away from the Czech border. The whole area of the NP has been devastated by the bark beetle, starting some 20 years ago and the discussions are still going on whether they should reforest the fir trees or let the nature do its magic – the favors are still for mother nature. And man, what a fantastic location this is – a photographers paradise, very surrealistic. All in all I´ve spent 20 hours at Lusen Mt. which were one of my most intense hours I´ve spent photographing. A perfect place for testing gear, like the Exped air mattress, Mountain Equipment sleeping bag, Lowe Alpine back pack, light-weight clothing and most of all which camera gear I´d bring to Ladakh. Everything depends on weight if you are out on your own – without the back-up of a car. To make a long story short, everything went out well camping at -17°C that night – thanks to the folks at http://www.alpenstrand.de for their help and advice! Want to know something more about Ladakh? Everyone can do it: http://lets-go-trekking.com/touren.php?aktion=5&sprache=en&PHPSESSID=a4f64aef3e8668bd762e6b236b33fb6f and give Thomas Boehm a shout. There wont be any posts until the 11th of Feb. – stay tuned.

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Devastated fir-tree forest, Bavarian Forest NP, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Frozen summit cross, Lusen Mt.,…

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This is why I went for red gear – and Jupiter above the trees…

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Still a bit cloudy, but great scenery…

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Blog.15.01.13-3Camp for the night, shot with Canon G1X…

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No night without star trails…

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Arcturus of Bootes shining bright around 3:30 am…

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Camp-site half an hour before sunrise…

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Dead fir trees covered with snow and frost…

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Forest devastated by the bark beetle or a man-made problem who planted that mono-culture before…

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Captive held wolves at the wildlife enclosure…

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Exhausted body, but a filled-up soul after a fantastic night, Czech border sign behind…

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Have a good one!

2012 – A Year In Twelve Images

´A Year In Twelve Images` is a self-appointment which reflects in a subjective way the shots of the past year I like most. The real challenge of this deed is to narrow down all of the images and to select not more than twelve photos,  which you think of that they are ´worthy`. Having done that, you can send the list/blog post to Jim Goldstein´s blog, a professional photographer based out of San Francisco; more info here: http://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/2012/12/17/blog-project-best-photos-2012/ . A lot of the pros I´m ´following` since two years now are participating too in this project and it´s good to know/to see what they are up to. This is my second year as a “full-time-hobby-photographer” and I´m very grateful that I can live this life – photography fuels my soul like nothing before. With this in mind: Do what you love and love what you do! Enjoy!

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Star trails over the Dolomites @ Passo di Giau, 2300 m/7600 ft., -10°C/14°F, Italy…

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A so-called Sun Pillar showing up during sun set, Upper Bavaria, Germany…

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Moving clouds and still visible stars during nautical twilight/early morning, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Sunrise and the transit of Venus, 06/06/2012, over the ridge of the Bavarian Forest, Germany…

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The Milky Way, reddish hydrogen-alpha nebulae and green airglow @ Großglockner Mt., Austria…

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Lunar occultation of Jupiter, 07/15/2012, from center to top: Venus, constellation of Taurus, Crescent Moon, Jupiter;  seen from Bologna, Italy…

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Star trails over the woods of Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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The stars and the Milky Way reflecting in a pristine mountain lake, South Tyrol, Italy…

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The stars and Venus are shining bright over the Dolomites early morning, while the city lights of Auronzo lying under a blanket of high clouds, Italy…

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A view of the Milky Way, with the constellations of Cepheus and Cygnus and its reddish hydrogen-alpha nebulae, on a clear September night, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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The setting crescent Moon, accompanied by Mars (next to Moon) and Antares, over the city of Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, Russia…

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Twilight at the end of the day @ Passo di Giau, the Dolomites, Italy…

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Always Good Light, Cheers!!!

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My Favorite Images Of November 2012

The month of November has been very productive; as you may notice its been very “night-scape-sided”. All of the images are from my latest sojourn to Austria and South Tyrol during the last New Moon phase in November. (Click to enlarge) . Enjoy!

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The sky is lifting up at night after a stormy day; MilkyWay, Jupiter, Pleiades (l.-r.), @Fernpaß, Austria…

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The last storm clouds fading away; MilkyWay, Orion, Jupiter, Hyades, Pleiades, @Fernpaß, Austria…

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My favorite activity – star-gazing, while the camera does its work, @Obtarrenz, Austria…

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The crescent Moon setting over the snowy ridge @South Tyrol…

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The Milky Way and the Andromeda Nebula (top left) above the woods of Obtarrenz, Austria…

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The Milky Way with its reddish illuminated alpha-hydrogen-nebulae, South Tyrol…

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Just before the immersion of Polis, SAO 186497 (Multiple star system), South Tyrol…

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Reflection of the setting crescent Moon @South Tyrol…

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The stars and the Milky Way becoming visible…

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Yours truly enjoining the show…

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Reflection of the Milky Way I…

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Reflection of the Milky Way II…

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Reflection of the Milky Way III…

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NGC 7000 or the North America Nebulae…

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Reflection of the stars…

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Pre-dawn, Sirius (left), Orion (faint, center), Jupiter (top, right) and Aldebaran (below Jupiter), 17th Nov. 2012, South Tyrol, Italy…

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The so-called Earth-shade or Venus-belt reflecting in the mountain lake… 

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Star-gazing at 2300m, Passo di Giau, the Dolomites…

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Star trails over a mountain lake, South Tyrol…

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Star trails over the Dolomites @Passo di Giau…

“If we are ever in doubt about what to do, it is a good rule to ask ourselves what we shall wish on the morrow that we had done.”

(John Lubbock)