I have taken very few photographs of the night sky, but that doesn’t mean I’m not attracted to astrophotography. This is a composite image of a lunar eclipse I took on 12/21/2010 using my 7D and 70-200mm f/4.0 lens. It was a cold night but I was in a trance watching the moon turn red. That’s certainly not something a person sees too often.
Fast forward to January 27, 2013 and the largest and brightest full moon of the year. The Wolf Moon. My goal was to capture this enormous full moon using the 7D once again, but with a Televue TV-101 telescope (link is to newer TV-NP101) instead of one of my smaller lenses.
A few tips for shooting the moon outside on a cold night with a Single-Lens Reflex (SLR) camera:
Dress warm. This process requires patience. Shivering all over the place and shaking your camera is a no-no.
Use a quality tripod. Cheap tripods flex and that results in a blurry image.
Shoot manual. You will drive yourself crazy trying to auto-focus the moon or have the camera guess the proper exposure for something in outer space.
Mirror lockup. This is a feature that moves the mirror away from the sensor/film prior to the shutter being activated. Reduces shake.
Getting the camera hooked up to the telescope was an easy process. It required removing part of the viewfinder and connecting the camera with an adapter. From there it’s a pretty straight forward process of adjusting shutter speed and using the camera timer. The timer helps to eliminate any residual shake from adjusting the camera/telescope prior to the shutter actuating.
The final image of the moon needed minimal post-processing in Lightroom and Photoshop. Between the clear night and absolutely no wind, mother nature was on my side to create a perfectly crisp image of our moon. Special thanks to Dan Deutsch for letting me use this amazing telescope!
I took this photo tonight with the intention of posting on my favorite weather site, Severe NJ Weather on facebook, and people are loving it. They even made it their cover photo! Very honored. I just rewarded myself with a second Yuengling. Because it’s Friday and I feel like a champion!
Drawing of the sun using Adobe Ideas and my pointer finger. Lindsay got me a stylus for Christmas which will make future drawings a lot easier to without getting fingerprints all over the glass. This image is the exact opposite of what it looks like outside right now. WE SHALL MEET AGAIN, SUN!
Last night I attended a Police Unity Tour fundraiser for their annual bike trek to Washington, D.C. It was my first time going to the Tilted Kilt where everyone, including men, dress like Britney Spears in the “Baby One More Time” music video. The stained glass door led me to believe drinks would be spilled on me throughout the night, however they were delivered to the table in a very professional manner. The Middlesex County Police & Fire Pipes & Drums provided traditional tunes throughout the night. The place was packed and I was happy to see everyone come out and support a great cause.
No time was wasted getting 2013 rocking and rolling. I teamed up with a few familiar faces as well as some new ones. I shot each model with a different look representing particular decades.
Photography and Retouching: Christopher John Sztybel
Models: Karen Buttacavole (1950s), Nicolette Haines (Contemporary) and Marisa Rachel (1980s)
Hair: Tracey Sommers and Jessica Cleaver Makeup: Life Is Better With Lipgloss
A few years ago I had no idea what a GoPro was. A tiny video camera? Was it any good? Skateboarders use it? Huh? What? Now I keep it with my traditional photo gear and it has become one of my most used tools. The GoPro HERO3 Black Edition video quality has reached a level that competes with even the best DSLR cameras.