Rosette Nebula

Opportunities for astrophotography are few and far between: one needs clear, Moonless, windless nights; something interesting to shoot and a couple of hours spare time. I had no such opportunity for more than a year, and was keen to try a few new pieces of gear I got in the meantime.

Rosette Nebula

Rosette Nebula

The above image was the first light for my 5DS R (performed very well, it seems to be sensitive to hydrogen alpha wavelength range without the overly reddish appearance of astro converted cameras), 500mm f/4L IS II and the IDAS LPS-D1 light pollution suppression filter (did an admirable job – the above image was shot from our backyard in the countryside). Well, I would expect this level of performance from a filter costing over 250 Euros in 52mm size…

A stack of six exposures, 4 minutes each with another 4 minutes for the dark frame subtraction. 4m was the upper limit dictated by tracking precision that night (even 5m exposures were not skyfog limited). Had to throw away another four frames because of wind gusts. Shot at ISO 1600. The frames were converted in Capture One 10 (moved to C1 from DxO Optics Pro because I get much more details this way) and then processed in Photoshop.

All in all, I’m very satisfied with the result and looking forward for the next opportunity.

A Year with Zeiss Lenses

More than a year had passed since I started migrating to Zeiss lenses – and I still couldn’t be happier. This, together with the Canon 5DS R completely transformed how I approach my subjects. The resulting files reflect what I see and how I see it. Every time. No additional frills that need to be edited out in post.

Fall Morning

Fall Morning

No matter if I work slowly and deliberately under a dark cloth, tethered to a MacBook Air, or – as it was the case with the above image – shooting handheld from a moving boat. The images are always stunning. I’ve never been so satisfied with any photographic equipment. These words shouldn’t be taken lightly – I’m an extremely hard-to-please man.

The only thing I miss with this setup is movements. A few degrees of tilt/swing here and there, plus a couple of millimeters rise/fall/shift could save the day sometimes. Well, if you think that I’m exploring the possibilities in this area, you are right. But more on my findings later.

Stranded and Breaking Up

The photo below is a good example of when endurance pays off. Following a rather spectacular sunrise weather slowly turned miserable. After a while my shooting companions gave up, and I was walking the beach alone in the cold drizzle. Camera and lens wrapped in a plastic bag. Wiping water off the LEE Big Stopper every 30 seconds or so.

But suddenly everything came together. Forms, colors, patterns. I’ve explored this composition quite a bit, taking roughly 20 frames with slightly different angles and of course to have several wave formations in the background to choose from.

Stranded and Breaking UP

Stranded and Breaking Up

And yes, a cup of hot tea in the car was priceless… Photographed with the Canon EOS 5DS R and Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 lens.

Polishing in Progress

Oceans are the great stone polishers. They start with rough cliffs and grind them into perfectly round pebbles. But I find the middle of this process filled with irregular shapes, sizes and chaotic arrangements the most interesting.

Polishing in Progress

Polishing in Progress

Taken with the Canon EOS 5DS R and Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 lens. Originally composed with the Mark II Artist’s Viewfinder and captured (after having a nice coffee and cake in the nearby cafe) with Kuuvik Capture 2. The exposure was elongated with a LEE Big Stopper.