Click for full-sized image.
July 24th, 2020, 10:18 p.m. local time
Last night was a rare triple-play of notable sky targets available from one spot within about an hour: the comet, the Moon, and planets Jupiter and Saturn. More on the first and last in subsequent posts.
As for the Moon, its early crescent was already low when dark fully settled, trapped within my western treeline. Still, I had brought my big telescope into my front yard, and so pointed it as best as I could. NightCap took interesting afocal photographs. I selected one for generous editing in PaintShop Pro, seen above, though the source is not much different. I tried to give it a little watercolor and/or oil painting feeling.
Click to see the full image.
March 21st, 2018, 7:25 p.m. local time
Tonight I took advantage of clear (but very cold) skies to photograph the young Moon’s crescent along with Venus (sorry Mercury fans, he was conspicuously absent). After Sunset these two objects were very far apart, stretching the limit of my wide-field lens. There was a lot of empty space/sky between them.
This emptiness gave me an idea to try a new type of post-processing, which is today’s image. I “enhanced” Venus, attempted to add some depth to the sky, and did a small amount of cleanup around the trees.
The result pushes the bounds of true astrophotography and into the realm of something else. I am still debating my thoughts on this experiment and whether I would want to pursue it in future imaging.
I am already post-processing my star fields to accentuate the brightest stars. Those pictures are no longer true photography either. Even my Moon and planetary images are not faithful representations of what the camera sees, but are my attempts to gleam from the camera’s eye stacked or other compounded image data to make something we can recognize and appreciate.
I have found that sitting on an image, revisiting it after a time away, helps me to more objectively judge the end picture. I will do so here, coming back to it in a week or so, to re-evaluate it again then.