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Favorite visual artistRembrandt, Cezanne, Pollock, Riley,....Favorite moviesThe Good, The Bad, and the Ugly; Ronin; and so many more.Favorite TV showsThe Off ButtonFavorite bands / musical artistsCliff, Elvis, The Beatles, The Shadows, Beethoven, Bach...Favorite booksI have read thousands of books - they are all favourites.Favorite writersWho is not to like?Favorite gamesPheasant and VenisonFavorite gaming platformA pack of cardsTools of the TradeLIGHT and TIME - then Canon cameras and lenses, Windows and Linux computer systems, The Gimp, Raw Therapee, Picturenaut, Photomatix Pro, PSE 8, PSP, Hugin, .....Other InterestsSleeping
When I look at some of the stunning astro-photography here on DA - check out MaxArceus, LinsenSchuss, ChrisAstro102 - I am hesitant about posting these three images. There is little aesthetic appeal in them, simply being a tyro's attempts at photographing the dark night sky at Rawnsley Station in the Flinder's Ranges in South Australia. The first shot is probably a standard sort of starscape image, long exposure, 30 seconds, using a tripod to hold a Canon 5D Mark III fitted with the TS E24 mm lens at f/3.5. Focus was achieved using LiveView and manual adjustment on a bright point star. Note also that the time shown in the EXIF data is UK time, and 11 hrs 30 minutes needs to be added to give the time in South Australia, i.e this was taken at about 9.51 pm or 21.51. I didn't quite get the great swirls of stars and moon that Vincent van Gogh achieved in his famous painting "Starry Night" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star…, but I did manage some mountain pines that must stand for the cypress tree in his painting. The image shows the Milky Way quite clearly, and if you zoom in you can see the stars are not point sources of light, but small curved streaks. This is because the Earth is rotating and even a short exposure time (for an astro-photography shot) like 30 seconds causes the apparent position of the stars to move - hence the streaks. Notice also the light from the cabin in the bottom left of the shot. I thought at first that this would spoil the shot, but it acts as a handy reference for the main subject.
The next two shots are to my mind somewhat more interesting. Let me sort the time first of all. The EXIF data shows about 7.30 pm, but that is UK time. The time at Rawnsley Station was thus about 7 am. Now at that time of the year, sunrise is after 8 am, so these shots were taken in "the dark" - no sunlight. But, immediately you feel something is wrong - look at those powerful shadows! Surely, the Sun is up. But, also see that there are still stars in the sky - what is going on? Well, the shadows are cast by moonlight, there being an almost full moon at the time, with light so bright that even human eyesight could distinguish detail as well as the moon shadows - all very romantic. But still, if you have ever been out and about in bright moonlight you might feel that there is still something not quite correct here. The stars are OK if it is still night; the shadows are OK if there is bright moonlight, but what is odd is that we are seeing this image in colour. Interestingly, the colour palette here is not a million miles from that in the van Gogh painting - he obviously used a digital camera (ahem)!
Our eyes have two types of sensor, the so-call rods and cones. The rods are the main means by which we sense light and dark, basically being monochrome sensors, and are very sensitive; cones are not nearly as sensitive but they provide colour information. They need high levels of light before being able to function well. Thus, in even strong moonlight the rods are the source of effectively monochrome images. In sunlight, the cones come into play. Thus the image above by displaying colours is more like cone vision. Now take a look at the third image.
Taken at more or less the same time and under the same exposure conditions, this image appears to be a full Sun image, and were it not for the stars, I bet we would all say this was a daytime shot. But, no, apart from light from the Moon, the view was very dark. What I have done is auto adjusted the exposure to give a full tonal range, and hence quite a nice "daylight" with stars shot. The camera has red, green and blue sensors, but they do not react as our eyes do. Instead they will record full colour if it is there even if prevailing light conditions are low. The long exposure time is enough for sufficient colour information to be gather and subsequently displayed. And hence a "night-to-day" shot.
The palette in the van Gogh painting is kind of between what would be expected for a night scene and that for a day scene. van Gogh simply saw it in his own way. Just like the song.
I have opened this donation pool for contributions to maintain the Super Group status of the Infrared-Club (Extra-Visible Imaging). Any amount of points would be much appreciated. In return you will receive a mention on the Group's Home Page, on this page, and faves of your work to be displayed on this page. Extra large donations will receive a feature on the Group's Home Page.