Posts tagged ‘stars’

July 24, 2017

Living under the stars

It is not a magical myth. There still exist places where the entire night is blanketed in the glow of the milky way. It is up to us all to make sure it stays that way :)

Went out along with my son for a night under the stars. After the long drive, at 5 minutes past 11, the planned spot at a State park did not work out – they just closed the gates prior to our arrival. This led to a drive around the unknown rural roads. After some scintillating conversations, light painting and trying out some Milky way shots, came across this lovely spot.

It was quiet a place to take a walk. Unlike city, there were no harsh lights to showcase the stone road, just the light of the stars and the sounds of the night. On the left were close to a hundred cows, casually mowing the grass. Only after we crossed the field, were we able to see the light, at the front yard of this house. Just enough for them and not polluting the night sky. It was quiet a scene, literally !

We talked about light pollution, rural life, dark skies, stars and soaked in the night :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 800 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

   Living by the Stars 
Elberton, Georgia, USA
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
June 25, 2015

Road to Aurora, accompanied by Fireflies

Had been missing on sharing posts lately as work is going crazy. On the night of Jun 22, was working thru midnight, but when the Aurora was still going strong and the weather was forecasted to clear up, it was time to take a decision – to snuck under the blanket for a deserved cozy sleep, after a really long day OR miss out on the sleep and drive out couple hours to get a chance of a lifetime. Being a working day did not help either.

Looking back, I definitely would have regretted, if I had not drove out at 1 AM. Ideal time for Aurora viewing is from 10 PM to 2 AM and a location that is potentially dark, away from the pollution of city lights. The weather was starting to clear only around 3 AM. Hence it was all a hit or a miss.

But oh boy – the big dipper, the lovely colors of aurora dancing & the fireflies that decided to accompany the sweet night – it was quiet an encounter :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 1600 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 20 sec

  06.23.2015  3:40 AM CST @ Green River Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, 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
November 30, 2014

Storm in the Skies

After driving for 14 hours straight, I thought, all I would want was to get some break and sleep. But I was wrong ! As we reached the Smoky Mountain National Park and set the tent well into the darkness, the conditions were just ripe to explore some stars and was too tempting to miss ! The moon was not up, it was one of the darkest skies that I had seen in a while. It took a while to drive around and identify a spot, safe enough to shoot shoot the stars with some interesting foreground. Being new to the place, the mystery of the night and the sound of the rushing stream near by, added to the experience. The clouds were moving pretty fast, and helped set the mood of this shot to a great extent.

As for the processing of this shot : it was aided by the nifty Photoshop script(s) – Creative Trails UI & Creative Effects UI. I wrote a whole article about these scripts over the weekend. You can download the scripts here (for free, of course !) . If you are into photography do take some time to check it out.

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

Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Elkmont Road, Tennessee, USA
August 17, 2014

Sea horse, Skyline and some stars …

Buckingham Fountain at Chicago, is seriously beautiful.  A favorite spot in the city, one can literally spend hours hours watching the fountain.  The backdrop of Chicago or the lake, behind the fountain make it even more gorgeous.

With 134 jets and a fountain water capacity of 1.5 million gallons, it roughly pumps 14,100 gallons of water per minute. Water is re-circulated from the base pool after the basins are filled and not drawn from the outside except to replace losses from wind and evaporation. Some amazing engineering – be it the stupendous architecture or the the lighting at the dusk or the synchronous music that goes along with the lighting. The fountain located in the shores of Lake Michigan also symbolizes the lake itself, with four pairs of sea horses representing the four states that border its shoreline.

It was really lovely to see the Cassiopeia (Constellation) shining atop, even amidst all that man made city light. By the by, that lovely blue building, that u see there – that is where I work out of, lucky me … or not  ;-)

I present to you Sea horse, Skyline and some stars at Buckingham Fountain, Chicago. Definitely well worth checking out in large. How do u like it ?

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 13 mm : f8.0 : 10 sec 

Buy Print   Buckingham Fountain 
Grant Park, Chicago, 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
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
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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