Tag Archives: Stars

The Milky Way-In All Its Glory

When starting digital imaging in 2010, I admired all the images showing  the milky way in all its glory, not knowing a single thing about how they were taken or even how they have been accomplished/processed. I knew back then, that there is a software out there for stacking multiple images, but that has been all Greek to me. While being in Australia in Aug. 2013, I took heaps of images of the milky way, which is in its own full glory at that time of the year, using a modified Canon 1100 D camera and a Vixen Polarie  star trekking device. Being back home, I had the images, but I still couldn´t figure it out how to process them and using a Mac/iOS made it more difficult to find a proper/for free stacking software. A friend of mine introduced me into PixInsight software, which is a fantastic tool, but it got a very steep learning curve. After years of try and error, being unsatisfied with the outcome, I neglected the project of stacking the images and putting together a multiple mosaic panel of the milky way. Again with the aid of my friend Bernd, who introduced me into processing the images via PixInsight, and a lots of free time during the winter months, I finally have been able to figure things out  I started almost six years ago. The downside of this? The longing for the stars increases more and more every time I look at the final image. To view the image in all its glory – click on it, best seen on a 27″ screen. Enjoy!

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Six-panel mosaic, stacked with PixInsight and stitched together with Lightroom, no adjustments applied…focal length: 70mm…

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Six panel mosaic of the center of the milky way, each panel is a stacked image of multiple photographs. The final image contains 181 single frames, with a total of 74.6 min. exposure time. Stacked with PixInsight, some enhancement in ColorEfex and global adjustments with Lightroom. My all-time favorite is the so-called Cat Paws Nebula (NGC 6334), but there is so much more in it: NGC 6357, M6, M7,M8, M20, the Galactic Center, the “Kiwi” to the lower right and some sort of “skull” right in the center…

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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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Grmec: Bosnia´s Lost Spomenik (Monument)

The reason we traveled to Bosnia in Sept. 2017 (while visiting Croatia in the first place) got one name: Grmec! After crossing the border at Prnjavor, we went further on via Bihac, Vrtoce and Medeno Polje, visiting some other spomenik sites along that way. At Bosanski Petrovac, we turned on a minor road towards Krnja Jela, following from there on a gravel road up into the Grmec Mountains. Henceforth we were blind flying…the road map we got was to imprecise, no GPS assistance, no internet connection. On our uncertain way through the woods we came across some forest workers, who were hauling logs with their horses and asked them for the way. While none of us was speaking a single word of their language, the first woodsman drew us a sketch. Some kilometres further, an old man showed us the direction towards a very muddy dirt road. We didn´t want the risk of getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere, so we turned around and thought that´s it. But shortly after that, on the way back, we came across two fellows with an old Mercedes pick-up truck and asked them for advice. You won´t believe it, but one of them was speaking perfectly german, while working in Germany for a long time. He explained us the way and after some 25 km and three hours of driving through Bosnian woods we arrived at Grmec…what a relief. We spent the night over there and got in contact with local log truckers the next morning. What a ride! Thank you Bosnia for having us and having a hell of a time!

If you want to learn more about this monument and  the spomeniks of former Yugoslavia in general: http://www.spomenikdatabase.org/grmec . Enjoy!

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The road to Krnja Jela and the Grmec Mountains in the distance…

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Forest worker on duty @ some very muddy dirt road, Grmec Mountains

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Finally got there…

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Someone must have been here before us…

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The next four images: traces of a beautiful park before it got lost…

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Eerie and beautiful…

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…lit with a video light…

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…and additional car head lights…and the Milky Way above.

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The next morning…

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…log truckers ready for take-off…

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The destroyed Grmec Hotel or Korkanica Hotel…while talking to the truck drivers that morning, one asked me in between, what we are doing here, I replied: holidays, and he pointed towards the shattered building and stated in unbelief something like: Here!?!

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My Favorite Images Of 2017

My favorite images of 2017…and kudos to Jim Goldstein for pulling up this project every year: http://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/2017/12/21/blog-project-photos-2017/

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While fog is blocking the lights from the cities below, the Zodiac Light shines along the ecliptic and our neighbour galaxy is watching from afar @ Berchtesgaden, Upper Bavaria, Germany

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Enjoying the silence and solitude with the “celebrities” of the winter night sky @ Zillertal, Austria

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Roe deer and the setting Full Moon early in the morning, seen from my front porch @ Lower Bavaria, Germany

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Double rainbow over my home turf, the place I grew up @ Lower Bavaria, Germany

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The setting crescent Moon over the hopfields of the Hallertau @ Lower Bavaria, Germany

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Rising of the partial eclipsed Moon, single shot with a 8″ telescope @ Lower Bavaria, Germany

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The setting crescent Moon @ Befreiungshalle Kelheim, Lower Bavaria Germany

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The Milky Way towering above the Grmec Spomenik (monument) @ Korcanica, Bosnia

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Home to many Winnetou/Karl May filmings @ Tulove Grede, Croatia

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The reason I did a detour to Bosnia while traveling Croatia – the Tjentiste Spomenik (monument) @ Tjentiste, Sutjeska NP, Bosnia

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Pre-dawn light on the Hohe Göll Ridge @ Berchtesgaden, Upper Bavaria/Austria

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Sea eagle looking for prey @ Chiemsee (the Bavarian sea), Upper Bavaria, Germany

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Comeback In 2018

What better coming back to WordPress than starting with the dawn of a New Year – 2018. After not blogging for more than two years to this site and trying my luck with other hosts like SquareSpace, I thought it would be about time coming back to WP, since it has been always very reliable to my needs. Kicking it off with an image/impression from New Years Eve, taken from my front porch. The Moon started its own fireworks right away with a 22°-halo around midnight, saying good-bye to 2017 and welcoming 2018…Enjoy!

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Hop Field At Night

Strolling around last night to get some impressions of the current hop harvest in the Hallertau, Lower Bavaria, I came across this new built up hop plant. The poles are set up, but the cables and wires are not attached so far. That makes a great graphic silhouette against the night sky. Enjoy!

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6-verts-pano…the Big Dipper showing the way to Polaris (top right) and Arcturus (middle left)…

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Update: was this night there again with my kids, showing them the stars…

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14.09.2015: Capella/constellation Auriga, showing up after nautical twilight…

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Blue Hour and the stars start to pop out…view goes towards Perseus and Triangulum…

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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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