Archive for the Astrophotography Category

Lunar eclipse on election day

Posted in Astrophotography, Sony A7III on November 8, 2022 by budbranch

Can you help someone vote today?

Comet Leonard

Posted in Astrophotography, Deep Sky Stacker on December 10, 2021 by budbranch

My first serious effort at stacking images: 44 30sec exposures

Comet Leonard – brighter, more tail…

Posted in Astrophotography, Long exposures on December 5, 2021 by budbranch

A single tracked frame, 30sec 300mm ISO6400

Comet Leonard is HERE!

Posted in Astrophotography, Long exposures, sky, Sony A7III on December 3, 2021 by budbranch

30-sec tracked exposure 200mm.  Passing globular cluster M3 

New Year’s Photos

Posted in Aerial, Astrophotography, DJI Mavic 2 Pro, interval exposure, Long exposures, Sony A7III on January 5, 2021 by budbranch

As always, wall art can be yours:

Taos NYE fireworks

Taos NYE fireworks

Taos NYE fireworks

Taos NYE fireworks

Star trails during Bootids meteor shower

8-second exposure using very stable drone

8-second exposure using very stable drone

The Grand Conjunction

Posted in 600mm, Astrophotography, Sony A7III on December 22, 2020 by budbranch

Well, that was fun!

We’ve been watching Jupiter and Saturn ease closer for months.  Knowing that this was a once in a lifetime thing, I studied up and practiced a little.  In the final analysis I think it boils down to 1) stabilizing the camera, 2) focusing carefully and, 3) taking LOTS of frames of varying exposures.



This was an early test – no detail in Saturn or Jupiter

Another test from the deck, as it set over the Canyon

My best effort from 12/21, includes Saturn’s moon Titan…

Once the shooting was over, we made a group Conjunction photo before it set…

Geminid Meteors

Posted in Astrophotography, Composite, Long exposures, Sony A7III on December 16, 2020 by budbranch
The Geminid meteor shower peaked early Monday morning. This is a composite of 26 images that highlights the phenomenon of the “radiant”.
Very top center are Castor and Pollux, the heads of the Twins: Gemini. Notice all 26 meteors (except one) “point” to constellation Gemini. The renegade is blue-green, non-Geminid random meteor, and beautiful.
Mars at the bottom, Orion top left, Pleiades near center.
It was COLD. I wrapped a hat around the camera, and left it with a hand warmer!  I used the camera’s self-timer to delay the start of automated exposures until 1AM, then it made 800 30-second exposures before it ran out of battery.  Then it was a matter of reviewing each frame and selecting the ones with juicy meteors, then some Photoshop.  Thanks for digging it.

Meteors and Moon

Posted in Astrophotography, Composite, Long exposures, Sony A7III on November 21, 2020 by budbranch




Posted in 600mm, Astrophotography, Sony A7III on September 14, 2020 by budbranch

We lucked out with a moonless, no-haze, no smoke night sky yesterday.  I set up the little Ioptron Sky-Tracker and mounted my camera and 600mm lens, and commenced to focus/shoot/adjust/repeat.  Two hours later I had a couple of respectable images.  The first, M22, is a star cluster containing 70,000 or so stars.  The second is M8, or the Lagoon Nebula.  These are both 20 second guided 600mm single exposures.











Perseid Meteors

Posted in Astrophotography, interval exposure, Long exposures, Sony A7III, Wide Angle on August 14, 2020 by budbranch

Recent moonless nights have favored long meteor-hunting sessions, and this month it coincides with the Perseids.  Famous meteor showers get a lot of press and draw our attention, but meteors happen EVERY night.  Mark your calendar for all moonless nights!


These are all 30-second exposures f/2.8 at ISO 6400 shot off a fixed tripod.

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