When I started blogging about my featured images (Astronomy), I was culminating a series of other steps that I had taken to even getting to this point. Since then, I have added other images (headers and websites, governance, writing, and anything goal-related). What remains to be covered are miscellaneous items (quotes, humour, etc.) and reviews.
I have a category called “family” and for a long time, I’ve used a simple symbol of a house. It’s a cute clipart image, kind of almost gingerbread-ish in its feel. But it doesn’t really say family to me. I have another one, a logo of two pandas together that my wife and I used for our wedding theme which I quite like. But it’s only two pandas — no image for our son. We called our son cub for quite some time, but a few years ago, he decided he’s a penguin. » Read the rest
Back in 2005, Andrea and I headed over to Lac Leamy for fireworks as part of the annual Casino festival. I managed a few pics, but what I am reminded of most with the fireworks is a ride on the bus afterwards. We got on the commuter bus back to Ottawa, and ended up sitting at the very back. Two young kids ended up sitting next to me, and one fell asleep on the other, with the second on following not to long afterwards, and leaning on me. Their mother came to rescue them and I waved her off, just letting them sleep. One couple took a picture of them sleeping. But when we stopped at one point, and the mother came to get them, the other couple thought it was hilarious that the kids weren’t mine! Fun night. But it all started with fireworks.
As part of my #50by50 posts, I repatriated all my videos and pictures from SmugMug, threw them into Piwigo, and (mostly) completed a good layout and design for my online photo gallery. I had tried integrating directly into WordPress, but the biggest and best (relatively speaking) gallery called Next Gen Gallery just didn’t play well with some of my other plugins, and I couldn’t get it to work right. I tried various other WP tools, but nothing was jiving for me. Piwigo worked, I found some themes I liked, I tweaked some stuff, called it a day. Then proceeded to put a LOT of time and effort into uploading 12755 photos and videos of various types and sizes.
I made it as good as I could, but it was far from “perfect”, if there is any such thing. For example, Piwigo likes to play with different size images. So it would take the original ~13K photos and make a thumbnail for each one. » Read the rest
As with the shots of Saturn, I started with single frames of Jupiter. Settings were f/1.8 (set by iPhone hardware), ISO 24 to avoid blowing out the planet’s details, and a simple 1/10th of a second duration:
Cropped, you can see some details:
I doubled the ISO to 50, same duration:
And cropped again:
There seems to be a bit more detail in the top half, but less detail in the bottom. Then again, on a 4″ scope with my iPhone, I’ll take it! 🙂
For the second part of my processing, I worked with a 3-minute video, ~1900 frames:
Initially, I tried working with PIPP and then Autostakkert but it is REALLY hard to process the image when it wants you to place little place markers on the image — in fact, it tells you NOT to try it for planetary items. » Read the rest
My son recently acquired a Celestron NexStar 4SE in June, and on July 12th, the night was looking a bit clear. He was heading to bed but gave me permission to play with his scope. Alignment worked perfectly, I tried for a few things to see, etc. And that was my intent — solely to test the alignment and take a peek at the moon and planets.
Except I was curious how it would fare with my iPhone for simple astrophotography. I captured the images and video, but then I let them sit in my folders for a bit. So much so that when I finally did start playing with them, I totally forgot they were taken on the 4SE, not my standard 8SE. I was a bit disappointed with my processing, but when I realized earlier today they were all on the 4SE, my expectations changed!
So the equipment was a Celestron NexStar 4SE, with stock alt-az mount and tripod not set in wedge mode, iPhone XS Max, 25mm Plossl, and the Celestron NexYZ phone adapter. » Read the rest