Monday, March 22, 2010
Wild Plants And Wooly Bears
Digital photography has made picture-taking so much easier than in the old days of film and color transparency. And it’s way cheaper and it saves time. In my case, taking photos for magazines and newspapers involved going to the photo shop to buy film, going out and taking the photo, returning the exposed film to the shop, waiting for them to develop it, picking it up and taking it home to study and finally, mailing selected photos in.
Besides making my work-related photography easier, I have discovered, thanks to Sky and Telescope Magazine, that anyone with a telescope and digital camera can take fairly decent photos of the moon and planets.
My first photo accompanies this blog. It wasn’t planned, either, but happened purely by accident. The moon was nearing a pine tree and would soon move out of sight. That made the image appear crushed on the right side. The other side shows a portion of the unlit part of moon, that which wasn’t reflecting sunlight. In an earlier stage, that’s called, “the old moon in the young moon’s arms.”
The other forms in the image are, well, I just can’t say. Are the perhaps, reflections? Were they there all the time but not visible? Beats me, but when I looked at the thing on my computer, I knew I had a winner.
Anyone wishing to try taking pictures of the heavens needs only to have a telescope, one with a sturdy mount so it does not wiggle, and a digital camera. Although my camera is somewhat complicated and larger than most, it worked fine. Also, I understand those new, tiny but powerful digital cameras work wonders for this application.
Might the thing even work with binoculars? Perhaps. It’s worth a try. In either case, just focus on something, the moon, for instance, hold the camera lens to the eyepiece and shoot away. Don’t expect miracles, but don’t be too surprised if one or two shots work out quite nicely. Most of all, have fun enjoying the moon, stars and planets.