I have never seen Mercury before - hardly thought I ever would. But
on the evening of 21 April 2009 at ESDT 21:56 (UT 19:56) it suddenly was
there, visible to the naked eye in spite of air pollution and all.
Thanks to my trusty "old" (2005-release) digital SLR, Pentax *ist DL and my even older
(1981) Pentax SMC K-lens at 50mm f/2.8 this precious moment was also
Origninal raw (pef) file
converted to 8-bit jpg. First image otherwise unprocessed 8 sec
exposure at ISO 200 with Pentax *ist DL digital SLR and Pentax SMC
K-lens, 50 mm focal length at f/2.8. Note on EXIF data: Camera clock
is set to EST (not ESDT).
On 24 April,
sky conditions had improved and Mercury was easily visible to the
naked eye. It even recorded well with my small Olympus C50 Zoom compact
camera (although with some focusing flaws).
Lunar, Planetary and Stellar Landscapes
There is a moon for every camera and every lens - and
for your digital imaging software too.
Landscape Photography? Astrophotography? Or both?
A taste of Deep-sky
Living in the midst of a city makes many things easy - but not deep-sky
astrophotography. Haze, dust/smog and in particular ligt pollution - the
gastly mixture of spectral lines from street lights, shop windows,
vehicles, spots and posters block out all but the brightest stars to the
naked eye and provide a nasty, brigt and pinkish-reddish tint to one's
advent of digital cameras and digital imaging processing makes possible
to suppress a surprisingly large part of the effect of light pollution
on city-astrophotography - if not for scientific purposes then at least
for aesthetic ones.