Third Tail

Third Tail
Lake Zumbra (Victoria MN), 9:00 pm 8 April 97. 
Kiev-88 80mm, 5 minutes at f/4 on PMC400.

Notes from Thor’s astrophoto journal:

On April 8, a friend joined me to observe Hale-Bopp at my nearby and nearly-dark site at Lake Zumbra.  We enjoyed watching the very young moon set, then went about preparing to take some pictures. I was hoping to get a shot taken at a smaller lens aperture so the stars would have less distortion than in my earlier photos.

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City Cometscape

City Cometscape
Lake Calhoun looking at Minneapolis, 4:00 am 23 March 97. 
Kiev-88, 80mm , 20 seconds at f/4 on PMC400.

Notes from Thor’s astrophoto journal:

I thought that the view of comet Hale-Bopp over a cityscape would make a striking photograph.  There were only certain view angles and observing times that worked however.  To get the comet to hang over downtown Minneapolis in March, the time worked out to be around 3:00 am along a northeast line of sight.  Surprisingly few vantage points existed; the streets headed off in the wrong direction, or the view was obscured by trees,  buildings or streetlights. 

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Hale-Bopp over Hyland Tower

Hale-Bopp over Hyland Tower
Bloomington MN, 4:00 am 15 March 97. 
Kiev-88 80mm f/2.8, 30 second exposure on Tech Pan 120 film.

Notes from Thor’s astrophoto journal:

This picture was taken with a Kiev-88, which is a Russian-made clone of  a Hasselblad (a high quality  camera that was taken to the moon).  It uses the larger size 120 format film.  A colleague suggested that this unused camera should be stored in my office  instead of his.  And since I had no use for it there, I decided I should try it out on one of my comet photo outings.

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4.3 Please show your permit

Another challenge in making photographs of the night sky

On a summer camping trip with my family some years ago, I attempted to make a star trail picture showing Mt Hood in Oregon as reflected in one of the nearby alpine lakes.  Unfortunately, that remote location was not quite remote enough, and I found that other campers were intruding on my composition. 

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4.2 Skinnydippers

An unexpected hazard of night sky photography

Taking pictures at night is often a solo experience, and while it is true that there are times when one is quite alone, there are plenty of times when the abundance of humans on the planet provides company, desired or not.

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The Color of the Moon

I was 16 years old when Apollo-11 landed on the moon.  Color television had been invented but most TVs were still black and white.  I had seen a few color televisions on display and in other homes, but the color was usually awful, partly because the broadcasting signals had to be compatible with black and white sets. 

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Cows and other hazards of astrophotography

I have encountered various unexpected events while photographing the night sky.  Some are spectacular, like the flash of a brilliant meteor exploding in the sky and lighting up the landscape.   Some are startling: the crash of a tree felled by a nocturnal beaver.  Some are annoying: the competitive calling of amorous ducks and their disruption of the mirror lake surface I was trying to photograph. And some are downright dangerous. 

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