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Photog Blog

Seasons of the Sky- Seeking Orion

The half moon had just set when I came across these beautiful oak trees silhouetted in the moonlight and light pollution. The hazy clouds in the sky on this cold night added a bit of reflective color to the shot. Part of the milky way shows through and may be my last shot of it this season. This is a panorama of 6 shots merged in lightroom all shot at 18mm F1.8 ISO 4000 10sec.

As the seasons come and go some of the biggest changes are ones that we rarely take the time to notice.  One of my favorite changes happens in the night sky above us. Each spring I eagerly look up in hopes of catching a glimpse of the milky way, an amazing addition to any astrophotography shot. When I do, I know that summer is fast approaching and with it the long days and short nights that I love so much. 

As the beautiful colors of fall peak and pass, the earth tilts, and the glorious milk way galaxy falls out of view. (well really it is somewhere in the sky during daylight, but I can't seem to see through the bright sun?...) With this change I began to look for other unique night sky phenomenon to photograph. A friend recently asked if I would get a photograph of the Orion constellation for him. After a bit of research I found out that Orion was best viewed during the cold months of winter, and so a new subject was added to my ever long list of projects.

My mind can be very resistant to change, as it were I was feeling rather sad that I would have to wait until next spring to get any good shots of the milky way again.  But change is inevitable and rather than resist it I pushed on towards something new, and what I discovered is quite a new challenge. Orion has its own small nebula's and the distance to that constellation makes photographing them quite tricky.

Here are a few of my adventures in Seeking Orion.

A car drives past my vantage point in the rolling hills.  There are many planes visible in this shot as well as the Orion constellation.  The hazy clouds give a vibrant blur to the stars. In this wide angle shot Orions belt is straight above the tree just about on the right 1/3 line. 18mm F1.8 ISO6400 10sec.

Zoomed in a slight bit more to focus the frame on Orion. One of the nebulas just to the right and down from the 3 stars of Orion's belt is visible.  I needed to use a faster shutter speed for less blur in order to get this to show more clearly. 35mm F1.8 iso6400 5sec

Here is a more telephoto (zoomed in) view. This shot was taken in the very early morning. The earth has turned enough that Orion's belt is now almost Horizontal.  The brightest part of the photo shows what some call the sword nebula.  With your bare eyes you can see this nebula, but it just looks like a star. 130mm F2.8 ISO4000 2sec

Mat BrownComment