Anything Worth Doing…

a wargaming blog (plus some other stuff)

On Orion’s Belt

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Amongst other things, I enjoy photography and astronomy; so rather than the normal gaming, this blog post is heading off topic. Sorry.

Just before heading to Canada last year, I picked up a Panasonic G2 Digital 3/4 format SLR camera. This is a little smaller and lighter than a classic SLR and has a digital viewfinder; but apart from that it is pretty similar. Since then, I’ve being meaning to grab a tripod and play around doing some night time photography.

In the absence of a telescope and camera mount, I put on the 200mm telepohoto lens and started playing tonight, and here’s the results…

This is the moon (obviously), taken just before dusk and tweaked (mostly darkened) in Photoshop.

This is the constellation of Orion, just before a cloud moved across it. This photo was taken with a 5 second exposure and zoom at 45mm. Again, tweaked in Photoshop to darken the background

And finally, Orion’s belt and sword. The blurry object in the centre of Orion’s sword (towards the bottom centre of the picture) is M42, the Orion nebula.

If you are interested in stargazing and photography, I can heartily recommend pointing your camera up at the stars. You will need something which has a manual mode plus a tripod to keep it steady, however the CCDs on digital cameras are more sensitive to light than the human eye so you can get some good results without expensive equipment.

In this case, all of these photos were taken from our back garden on a cloudy night, with a half moon, and lots of light pollution from three nearby street lights. Not ideal conditions.

Rather tempted to find a dark spot in the countryside the next clear night and have another go…

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