I love the South West Coast of Victoria, it is the area I grew up in. Winter weather being extremely volatile along this rugged coast makes it all the more rewarding when you you are fortunate enough to get a window of clear sky. I Managed to get a single clear day in a week while staying with family which just happened to coincide with a new moon. I headed to one of my favourite dark sky spots in the area to see what I could capture, using very low level constant lighting on the beautiful sandstone cliffs in the foreground. Unfortunately I arrived about an hour after I had intended and was only about an hour into the session when a very thick sea fog rolled in and completely drowned out all visibility of the sky.
It was above one year ago that I did my first tracked close-up imaging of the milky way core. Using drift alignment I managed to achieve a pretty solid polar alignment using apps on my mobile phone. I’m still really happy with the image I was able to produce using my small Micro Four Third sensor Panasonic GX85 and Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens, however having just treated myself to the new Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Lens for Sony-E Mount I have certainly had my perception of what is possible shifted.Continue reading “The Core Revisited”
So I’ve finally been getting a bit of use out of Move Shoot Move 2-in-1 Star Tracker & Rotator for actual star tracking sessions of late. I’ve used the rotator function of this device extensively, a function that to my mind almost justifies the cost of this device on its own merit. The star tracker however wasn’t quite working for me. With Australia being in the Southern Hemisphere, I had no bright pole star to align too even if the star pointer laser was legal. I went with the polar scope option with my purchase, however simply could not positively identify Sigma Octantis, the tiny magnitude 5.5 pole star for the Southern Hemisphere, through the scope no matter how hard I tried. I retired myself to the idea that I was going to have to make do with blind alignment using apps on my phone for a “near enough” polar alignment for which only wide focal lengths could be used without trails. To date, I have been quite pleased with how wrong I’ve been about this.Continue reading “Milky Way at 150mm with my MSM”