Shop Window

Shop window in Heidelberg Hauptstraße, Christmas 2014

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #74: Abstract

#74

Lens-Artists Challenge #73 – COLD

It has been a while since I participated in a photo challenge. I recently stumbled upon the Lens-Artists Challenge, which is a spiritual successor to the discontinued WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. Here is my take on the challenge #73 – COLD.

Turku Market Square, Summer 2015

A view Turku Market Square as it was in summer 2015. The square is currently being renovated, and a new parking facility is being built underground. The Hamburger Börs hotel is closed and will be demolished.

Giraffe

A giraffe
A giraffe at Hellabrunn Zoo in August 2019

Gibbous Moon March and April 2019

Equipment

  • Equipment:
  • Sky-Watcher Explorer 150P-DS
  • Sky-Watcher N-EQ3-2 with aluminium tripod
  • Olympus PEN E-PL7
  • 2x Barlow lens (Full disc shot without the Barlow)

Software

  • PIPP
  • Auto Stakkert! 3
  • Polarr Photo Editor
  • Adobe Premiere Rush CC

Music in the video: Ether Oar by The Whole Other

Quick astrophotos from the balcony

So far I have only done afocal moon photos with a smartphone, so a couple of nights ago I try prime focus photography with my system camera. Because I do not have tracking motors, I was able to use exposure times up to only 0,5 seconds. With the ISO turned up to the maximum I was able to capture the Orion Nebula. The quality of the images is not particularly satisfying as I only got time to capture a few frames. Also, the Trapezoid cluster seems overexposed, so I can probably tune the ISO down next time. Both of the photos above were stacked with Sequator and processed in Affinity Photo.

The Moon with Binoculars and a Camera

13 x 1/500 s, 45 mm, f/2, ISO 1600
Binned, centered, and cropped in PIPP.
Stacked and processed with Affinity Photo.

To get a more detailed picture of the Moon, I tried taking a photo with my system camera through the binoculars. While this was indeed possible, it was difficult to align the camera correctly, and even then the resulting image was blurry. I had to use 3×3 binning in PIPP to get a sharp image.  The result is not much larger than an image from a smartphone and binoculars, but it shows a bit more detail.

Scorpius

The constellation of Scorpius on 30. June 2018
60 x 1 s, 45 mm, f/2.8, ISO 6400
Stacked with Sequator and processed in Affinity Photo.

A big issue with this photograph was the net, which is installed on our balcony to keep the birds from soiling it. With binoculars, it  poses no problem, but with a 45 mm lens with a considerably larger view, the net was clearly visible although out of focus. Stacking averaged out the horizontal bands, but the vertical bands remained.

I managed to salvage the image by performing frequency separation so that most of the detail went to the high-frequency layer. Then I reduced the luminance of the low-frequency layer until the bands were no longer visible.

I intended to photograph the constellation, and I did not expect to see any deep sky objects, but closer inspection showed that several globular clusters are actually visible in the image. They appear just as few pixels wide blotches but are a nice addition to the photo.