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18th July 2014

Photo

The Advanced Stacker PLUS can be used for much more than Star Trails. This is a Matt Molloy inspired stack of exposures during sunset stacked using Long Streaks mode.  If you want to get a copy of the Photoshop plugin see http://advancedstackerplus.com 

Look carefully and you’ll see how I suffered from not having my intervalometer handy.  

This is about 100 shots taken at 10 second intervals.  All were f/11 ISO 160, 1/160th of a second.

The Advanced Stacker PLUS can be used for much more than Star Trails. This is a Matt Molloy inspired stack of exposures during sunset stacked using Long Streaks mode. If you want to get a copy of the Photoshop plugin see http://advancedstackerplus.com

Look carefully and you’ll see how I suffered from not having my intervalometer handy.

This is about 100 shots taken at 10 second intervals. All were f/11 ISO 160, 1/160th of a second.

Tagged: fotostatASPAdvancedStackerPLUSStarCircleAcademyAlvisoCaliforniasunsetstutterportaldoorwaymarshcloudsstreakswispsorangeblueraysbeams

17th July 2014

Photo

After sunset, Amtrak makes its way to San Jose during the blue hour.

After sunset, Amtrak makes its way to San Jose during the blue hour.

Tagged: traincommuterbluehouralvisocalifornia

17th July 2014

Photo

Over the next day or two we’ll be posting 3 images from this location. This is the “Vanilla” view - that is, straight up normal image. Later that evening we grabbed a shot in the opposite direction and I will post that next. Finally I’ll post a shot that Matt Molloy calls a “TimeStack” showing the cloud movement here.

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area we seldom get much in the way of interesting clouds. The weather options are generally “blue” or “fog”

This view is of the Marina Park in Alviso.

Over the next day or two we’ll be posting 3 images from this location. This is the “Vanilla” view - that is, straight up normal image. Later that evening we grabbed a shot in the opposite direction and I will post that next. Finally I’ll post a shot that Matt Molloy calls a “TimeStack” showing the cloud movement here.

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area we seldom get much in the way of interesting clouds. The weather options are generally “blue” or “fog”

This view is of the Marina Park in Alviso.

Tagged: fotostatAlvisoCaliforniamarinadoorsunsetportalwalkwaycloudsorangebluemarshvanilla

30th June 2014

Post

The 5 Most Used Photo Enhancement Techniques - Part 3

The 5 Most Used Photo Enhancement Techniques – Part 3

Out Darn Spots – Cropping

Beware cropping too soon. It is an easy way to get rid of problematic areas of the frame, but might bite back!

One obvious way to remove encumbrances is to crop them out. As tempting as it seems to crop the photo first, we generally leave cropping to the end of the effort for several reasons which we enumerate here:

  1. Sometimes clients (i.e. you) want an image in a…

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28th June 2014

Photo

My friend and co-conspirator in StarCircleAcademy,Eric Harness, was the first to make a meal of this lovely place (https://www.flickr.com/photos/27306359@N07/4686956007/)

I gave it a shot at the same time Eric did, but Eric’s light painting was superb… mine… not so much. In the years since Eric shot this, I’ve vastly improved my light painting skills AND have been using a better light. What light?  Hang on, that’s not the important part!

Since Eric did this, I’ve seen others make lovely images here, including my friend Jim Patterson.

Where is this? Alabama Hills at the foot of Mount Whitney near Lone Pine, California.  The motivated will be able to find it but it does take some hiking!

About that light… I’m using a Halogen light which has a nice warm tone. The warm tone of the light is important, but more important is the HOW:  http://starcircleacademy.com/2012/09/lightpainting-101

My friend and co-conspirator in StarCircleAcademy,Eric Harness, was the first to make a meal of this lovely place (https://www.flickr.com/photos/27306359@N07/4686956007/)

I gave it a shot at the same time Eric did, but Eric’s light painting was superb… mine… not so much. In the years since Eric shot this, I’ve vastly improved my light painting skills AND have been using a better light. What light? Hang on, that’s not the important part!

Since Eric did this, I’ve seen others make lovely images here, including my friend Jim Patterson.

Where is this? Alabama Hills at the foot of Mount Whitney near Lone Pine, California. The motivated will be able to find it but it does take some hiking!

About that light… I’m using a Halogen light which has a nice warm tone. The warm tone of the light is important, but more important is the HOW: http://starcircleacademy.com/2012/09/lightpainting-101

Tagged: fotostatRipOffarchdoubleAdvancedStackerPLUSstacking1minStarCircleAcademy

26th June 2014

Photo

Pointy Land and the Milky Way. See HERE for photo details and story.

Pointy Land and the Milky Way. See HERE for photo details and story.

7th June 2014

Post

Philosophy of Advanced Stacker PLUS

Philosophy of Advanced Stacker PLUS

ASP14e-500

Coming soon…

Our 14e release is imminent. But after looking at our survey results and the most recently reported issues, we thought it wise to provide some hints to help you use the current software and to help you understand tradeoffs we made.

Our most commonly reported issue is something we struggled with. In an attempt to help users understand features we caused confusion. What are we talking…

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Tagged: add-insAdvanced Stacker PLUSASPcompatibilityContinuegoalsMacOSXPCPhotoshop DialogssecuritystopvirusesWindows

29th May 2014

Post

Planispheres: Paper or Electronic?

Planispheres: Paper or Electronic?

A topic that comes up a lot is discussion about what makes a good astronomy helper application. Whenever we suggest purchasing a paper Planisphere our critics remind us that they are not necessary because “there is a great app” to do that.

Planisphere

We take exception to the “there is an app for that” assertion… but perhaps not for the obvious reason. In fact we DO use several apps for forecasting and…

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Tagged: appscompassGoSkyWatchGPSinaccuracynight skyplanispheresSkySafariStarMapstellariumtools

25th May 2014

Photo

There are many things wrong here.  First, I drove an extra 90 minutes inland to escape the clouds and find a spot with fewer clouds. First thing that was wrong: the weather forecast!Secondly, there were predictions of a “never scene before” meteor shower - possibly a storm. While I can’t verify for myself that it didn’t occur - because the weather got even cloudier no reports materialized of people being gobsmacked by a reign of “falling stars”.Third, the weather not only got cloudy, but it (predictably) got colder and windier and of course I left my warm hat and hoodie back in the car… quite a hike away.Wait, there was a FOURTH conspiracy, too. As SOON as I decided to pack up and leave (3:00 am) the skies began clearing. By the time I got back home at 4:30 AM the skies were quite clear, but I was too tired to care.This is an 8-shot panorama. Each exposure was about 20 seconds, ISO 6400 with a 14mm f/2.8 Bower (aka Rokinon) lens using a Canon 5DII.  Stitching was done with Microsoft’s ICE.Oddly despite the moving clouds, it stitched quite cleanly with only one area that needed some TLC to blend a seam.

There are many things wrong here.  First, I drove an extra 90 minutes inland to escape the clouds and find a spot with fewer clouds. First thing that was wrong: the weather forecast!

Secondly, there were predictions of a “never scene before” meteor shower - possibly a storm. While I can’t verify for myself that it didn’t occur - because the weather got even cloudier no reports materialized of people being gobsmacked by a reign of “falling stars”.

Third, the weather not only got cloudy, but it (predictably) got colder and windier and of course I left my warm hat and hoodie back in the car… quite a hike away.

Wait, there was a FOURTH conspiracy, too. As SOON as I decided to pack up and leave (3:00 am) the skies began clearing. By the time I got back home at 4:30 AM the skies were quite clear, but I was too tired to care.

This is an 8-shot panorama. Each exposure was about 20 seconds, ISO 6400 with a 14mm f/2.8 Bower (aka Rokinon) lens using a Canon 5DII.  Stitching was done with Microsoft’s ICE.

Oddly despite the moving clouds, it stitched quite cleanly with only one area that needed some TLC to blend a seam.

Tagged: conspiracymeteorspanoramaCamelopardalidsbust8-shotsMicrosoft ICEstitchedfotostat

24th May 2014

Photo with 2 notes

One morning after trying to spot comet Lovejoy I noticed the dawn sky was casting an interesting light down into San Antonio Valley, so I pointed my telescope in that direction. This was effectively a 770 mm lens at f/7 - though I probably also had a 1.2 teleconverter on it - can’t remember.

One morning after trying to spot comet Lovejoy I noticed the dawn sky was casting an interesting light down into San Antonio Valley, so I pointed my telescope in that direction. This was effectively a 770 mm lens at f/7 - though I probably also had a 1.2 teleconverter on it - can’t remember.

Tagged: telescopetelephotodawntreesfoglandscapeorangepurplefotostat