Tag Archives: Stars

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 Crescent Moon Of April 2018

In April 2018, I could catch the waxing crescent moon on three consecutive days, due to some high pressure weather – that hasn´t happened for almost four years. Going out three times on a row at night and chosing places to photograph by appearance and not by weather is a very nice treat. Enjoy!

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Crescent Moon and Venus, the day after New Moon, 04|17|2018…

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Like the previous one – above a highway, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Crescent Moon and Venus @ civilian twilight, 04|18|2018, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Crescent Moon and Venus  joined by Aldebaran (upper left), 04|18|2018…

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Orion, Hyades, Moon, Pleiades and Venus (left to right) @ the end of nautical twilight, Lower Bavaria, Germany…

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Crescent Moon above Isar (river), 04/19/2018, Upper Bavaria, Germany…

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What better than spending a night out…?

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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 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…

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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