Posts tagged ‘milky way’

March 27, 2016

Milky Way by Night

Somewhere, Something incredible is waiting to be known. – Carl Sagan

As Spring comes up, so does the galactic arm of the milky way. Due to the curvature and constant movement of the earth, the Milky Way is below the horizon during the months of November to February, and can be enjoyed with the galactic center from March to October (if you live in the northern hemisphere).

This shot is from the one of the most known Perseids meteor shower from the past year. We drove around the Green river state wildlife area and luckily chanced upon a remote road. As I light painted the foreground with Coast HP7,  the meteor sparkled across the night sky. One of the stars even decided to play the head of the comet.

Looking forward to more adventurous nights this year :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

 Perseids (08.13.2015) @ Green River State Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
September 21, 2015

Go, Get Lost !

It is good to get lost. It helps to find yourself.

With technology today, one can afford to get lost, without getting lost. It is much easier to take that road not taken, knowing that you have access to GPS and can get back home, if u decide to. I generally plan for location and timing to get the golden light. But once in a while I do enjoy getting around without a destination. Not knowing where the path leads, making the journey even more interesting.

What are you waiting for, just hop in the car and drive to the stars ! I assure, you wouldn’t regret :)

The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination. – Dan Milman

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30.0 sec

Buy Print    Green River Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
August 17, 2015

Stroll by the River @ 2 AM

The Perseid meteor shower, is associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle and appears to streak out of Perseus constellation. Perseids usually is visible around 2nd week of Aug. With little or no moon to ruin the show, this was a great year for watching the Perseid meteor shower.

Every time the comet dives in towards the sun, it leaves a trail of rocky icy bits along its path like a cosmic, frozen Hansel and Gretel trail. This trail can remain intact for decades after the fact and gets refreshed with each new pass (the last of which was in 1992 and the next one is 2126). As the Earth barrels through the debris field, all the little bits in it’s way burn up in the atmosphere, creating brilliant streaks across the sky. Even particles the size of the sand can create some lovely views like this.

 

2 AM in the Morning, Watching the milky-way, Sipping a cup of hot tea – is an experience unto itself. Add a shooting star and what more can u ask for :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print    Perseids Meteor (08.15.2015)
Blue River, Wisconsin, USA
March 29, 2015

Falling Star … Falling Star …!!!

This was from the night, few moons ago, when I was shooting the camelopardalis meteor shower. Clear nights are nice to shoot the milky way. But a little bit if mist, actuates and gives a good nice glow to the stars. I love the Green River Wildlife Area for the night sky watching. It provides ample dirt roads and parking spots where you could set up base ! For this shot I set up the camera and decided to drive around and the set the car, so the head lights could light up the trees :)

It is fun to shoot the milky way. It is even more enjoyable when my family joins in the party. My son (8 yrs) is equally intrigued by the night sky. Along with the shot, just wanted to share something he wrote during one of our trips to catch a glimpse of a meteor shower.

Falling star Falling Star
Sliding down the Sky
I will catch You when I fly.

Falling star Falling Star
You have a Shiny light,
Which makes you very Bright
You go swiftly
– My Dad takes snaps of U quickly.

Falling Star Falling Star
We see U barely,
So come out early
We see U in dark starlit midnight
Hoping to see U tonight. – Pranav :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-24 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Camelopardalis Meteor, Green River Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
May 24, 2014

209P/LINEAR’s handshake with earth – Camelopardalis

As you would have read from the news, the new meteor shower – Camelopardalis – was expected to adorn the skies during the early morning of 5.24.2014. When I heard about this meteor shower, I was pretty excited. Time of the event being a weekend – check. Location – northern continental US – favorable. Clear skies – check. May be the stars just aligned for this :)

Camelopardalis – I was wondering about the name, as it has been as long as the giraffe’s neck, when I came across this !

The giraffe’s species name, camelopardalis (camelopard), is derived from its early Roman name where it was thought of as a composite creature, described as having characteristics of both a camel and a leopard.

 

The forecasted peak time for the meteor shower was from 1 –3 AM CST. It was not as much as hyped (~200 / hr ?), but the night was still clear and Milky way was magnificent. Around 4 AM, took out my flash light and started playing to get a star war style crisscross with the milky way. Just then the celestial gods decided to bless – look – a shooting start in the same direction my camera was positioned, as if to slice the Milky way.This was not one of the shooting star i saw in person. I was busy walking up & down and playing with the flash light. But I will definitely settle for this shot instead :)

Lesson to self : Never given up, just go out and do what you like, you never know when the stars will align :)

Note: Are you just getting started with night photography ? Do check out this article !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print Camelopardalis Meteor (05.24.2014) Green River Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
May 21, 2014

Majestic Milky way @ Bond Falls

This is a single RAW shot processed for the milky way. The ambient light bought in the details of the falls and bit of reflections.  Shot this while chasing the Perseids last year. I liked this shot for how this brings out the grandeur of the milky way. At the same time, it is amazing how walking couple of steps and lighting the foreground can bring in such a different feel. Here is the shot with a bit of light painting on the foreground.

It is amazing how much camera’s can see these days, but still – far superior is what the eyes can see :)

darkness of the night
stillness of the forest
rumbling of the falls
twinkling of the stars
grandeur of the milky way 
– adorned by a shooting star !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print   Perseids & Milky Way Over Bond Falls
Trout Creek, Michigan, USA
April 23, 2014

u & i are star material …

u & i are star material, i mean even literally :)

Was watching Cosmos : A space odyssey yesterday, what an amazing journey. Earlier I learnt about Carl Segan for his quotes, specifically from the 1980 TV series – Cosmos. And Neil Tyson definitely raises the bar with this new series. A must watch – if you already have not. The full versions are available online for free (for a limited time). Time well spent and you know, there is an app for that too :)

Watching the series, predictably bought back thoughts of some amazing night photography and a realization of how wonderfully insignificant we are, in the grand scheme of things. It was a lovely night, out at Mt. St. Helens.

If you are interested in star photography – do check out this guide to get started or this one for creative processing !!!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec 

Buy Print   Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Mt. St. Helens, Washington, USA
August 18, 2013

Celestial Contemplation

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. And it is ironical that at times, you need to turn off the lights & thoughts – rather than turn them on – to see beauty like this.

I am just a tiny spec on this earth at the given slice of time. The earth in turn is such a tiny speck in the Milky way. To top it off the Milky Way is just one of billions of galaxies in the universe. When u get to witness the celestial grandeur like these – it brings in an amazing feeling of being extraordinarily special and at the same time wonderfully insignificant.

The journey of outside are not very different from that of the inside. At the end all that matters is the search itself :)

Let the waters settle and you will see the stars mirrored in your Being. ~Rumi

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 3200 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print Ottawa National Forest
Trout Creek, Michigan, USA
August 12, 2013

Chasing the Perseids

Sleeping under the stars is an experience unto itself. Add a streak of shooting star and it becomes magical.

Perseids meteor shower is one of the consistent ones. Capturing it west coast last year was fun and exhilarating. Equipped with the past experience and learning had been scouting locations and planning for it this year. Unfortunately the weather was not playing along over this particular weekend. Almost all of Illinois was forecasted for gloomy weather and thunderstorms.

As I was debating, there was a forecast for Aurora sighting over this past (same) weekend with a level of 5. Both these together made it too tempting to drop the plan. I decided to take my chances with the weather. After lot of deliberation decided to drive up north to for 8 hours. The plan was to get out during the daylight and scout the location as much as possible. Thought it would make it easier to maneuver again during the night, but boy oh boy, could I be any more wrong !!! The pitch black unknown trails were kind of eerie. But once the stars came out it was a totally different world – so serene and tranquil.

 

I am beginning to love the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night :)

45 hours on the road with just few hours of sleep, in search of that one spot to capture the Perseids. The lashing rain, the forecasted aurora that never turned up and the hide and seek with the clouds – it was all fun. Was it all worth it, you bet ! The road trip took me to one of the darkest skies of Mid Western US – Bond Falls. Would like to share with you a moment in time from that night. This was one of the two meteor I was able to capture on frame, but loved how everything came together in this shot. I do love when a plan comes together :)

 

The deafening sound of 500 gallons of water / second from 50 feet
The tranquil silence of the dark night
Milky way adorning the skies
A (Perseids) meteor fireball streaking across the horizon
Definitely a moment of serenity and one I would cherish !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 3200 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec [Foreground lit by Coast HP7]

Buy Print   Perseids & Milky Way Over Bond Falls
Trout Creek, Michigan, USA
June 12, 2013

Delphinids – That elusive Meteor Shower

I went to shoot the Deliphids and all I got was this :)

Coming in from office stumbled upon the article – that talked the the elusive Delphinids Meteors. When NASA said it was elusive, I should have agreed. Instead I decide to drive up 2 hours, to sleep under the stars. I just awaited a bit too long for the peak of the meteor (forecasted around 3:30 – 4:30 AM) and missed to realize that the sun would start to lit up the horizon quiet early during summer… The meteors were indeed quiet elusive. Given this was mid of work week, it was a good straight 36 hours without sleep, but was well worth the experience !

Just in case you were wondering, this was just a regular star trail shot processed with Comet effect. Am working on an article explaining the same. For now do check out – Getting Started with Starscapes here.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 1000 : 10 mm : f22 : 30 sec

    Green River State Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
May 13, 2013

The Road to Milky Way

Living close to Chicago has its perks, but star-gazing is definitely not one of them. With so much of ambient light pollution, it is difficult to see any stars. Tools of trade – Dark Sky Finder – came to the rescue, in locating some decent dark skies @ Green River State Wildlife Area. The 2 hour drive made me realize how much impact light pollution has on the night skies. Anyways, couple nights back – everything fell in place – new moon, weekend, forecast for clear skies and not so cold nights – all came together. Clear Sky Chart is one other site that is quiet handy to plan trips like these …

Out at this location, the side roads, provide for some interesting composition – without being bothered by light trails of the vehicles. There are not many crazy folks who drive around at that hour ;-) It was an happy accident to have captured a meteor on this particular night. This probably was from Eta Meteor shower that peaked couple of days back.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 12 mm : f4 : 30 sec

Buy Print   Eta Meteor (05.11.2013) @ Green River State Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
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