In Which I Dance With Wolves (OK Coyotes

I drove about 10KM east out of Ottawa onto an unlit rural road to try for a shot of the space station against a starscape.  The neatest thing was that I could hear a pack of wolves or coyotes in the distance howling and yipping to keep me company.

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I didn’t have my act together and i just caught a couple of frames using the cameras night sky time-lapse setting which shoots at ISO 100 f8 and turns the images into a short video.  I used PIPP to split out the individual frames then rot’n’stack to combine the brightest pixels.  I used the windows photos app to brighten the whole thing.  The streak at the bottom of the first image is the space station clipping the bottom of Cassiopeia. The one on the left in the second one I’m calling a meteor because hey, who knows, maybe it was a meteor!  I didn’t notice it at the time – only after i lightened the photo considerably.

Below is an isolated Cassiopeia that I shot at ISO 6400 1/2 sec f3.5. The camera does a much better job with the lower ISO longer exposure.19-3-30 casseopeia 751



Dippered Again

The camera has a setting for taking star-trail time lapses. The video shows the stars of the big dipper moving over a couple of hours last night. Off the frame to the left is the north star that everything rotates around. The orangey star rising at the right halfway through is Arcturus.

Interestingly, the camera sets itself to ISO 100 and 25 second exposures where the longest it will let me set is 15 seconds.  There’s a second setting for a night sky timelapse which maybe doesn’t smear the stars.  I’m going to try that tonight if it’s clear and see if i can stack some of the frames.

below is the closest i could get to the last frame of the video and one of the early frames with just the dipper rotated and cropped.

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Spacex Crew Dragon Launch

launch__RGB_MaxOn March 2, 2019 there was a launch of a Spacex Falcon 9 carrying a demonstration capsule to the Space Station.  We are about 80 miles south of Cape Canaveral but we have a clear view over the Atlantic to the launch area.  I set up my Nikon P900 set to wide angle and started a video at launch.  Visually we could see the rocket for a good long time but it passed out of the video frame in a couple of minutes.   The two minute video is kind of boring but i sped it up to 30 seconds which improved the drama a bit.  My real goal was a streak so i used a combination of free software to composite all the frames of the 30 second video into the shot below. I’m reasonably pleased although i would have liked some bit of foreground to show up.  This was at 2:30 am and the buildings along the beach were pretty much black.

the video was cropped and sped up with an online editor

the frames were split out with pipp

the split frames were stacked with rot’n’stack