Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When worlds meet

This evenings sunset conjunction of Venus and Jupiter.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tough Shoot

As an amateur astrophotographer, I'm always on the lookout for challenging astronomical events to photograph. Well - tonight, a gathering of Jupiter, Venus and the Moon (called a conjunction) was visible at sunset.

Below is the view through a 300mm lens. A tough shot to get - the moon was only 23 hours past new and only 3 degrees above the horizon. This image was obtain just 2 minutes before Venus set behind the distant Tucson Mountains.

Not so fast!

Spent the day photographing hummers in my backyard. The setup was simple - a feeder in the shade hanging from the roof of my back porch, a couple of off-camera radio controlled speedlights set up about three feet from the feeder @ 1/128th power, my Canon EOS 1D MKIIN on a tripod with a 70-200mm @ 200mm, manual exposure set to the max sync speed of the radio strobes (1/320th of a second) with the background 2 stops under exposed - and bang!

Not so fast. According to others on the web, my 580EX flash at this power setting is suppose to produce a 1/30,000th of a second duration flash - enough to completely freeze any motion of these little criters - or so you would think. Someone is lying. Either these birds are DAMN fast or the flash isn't. Me thinks its the later.

Late Light at the Desert Museum