Telescope on the grass Under the Stars Astronomy

Telescope on the grass Under the Stars Astronomy

Telescope on the grass Under the Stars background

Astronomy (from Greek: αστρονομία) is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It applies mathematics, physics, and chemistry, in an effort to explain the origin of those objects and phenomena and their evolution. Objects of interest include planets, moons, stars, galaxies, and comets; while the phenomena include supernova explosions, gamma ray bursts, and cosmic microwave background radiation. More generally, all astronomical phenomena that originate outside Earth’s atmosphere are within the purview of astronomy. A related but distinct subject, physical cosmology, is concerned with the study of the Universe as a whole.
Astronomy is the oldest of the natural sciences. The early civilizations in recorded history, such as the Babylonians, Greeks, Indians, Egyptians, Nubians, Iranians, Chinese, and Maya performed methodical observations of the night sky. Historically, astronomy has included disciplines as diverse as astrometry, celestial navigation, observational astronomy and the making of calendars, but professional astronomy is now often considered to be synonymous with astrophysics.
During the 20th century, the field of professional astronomy split into observational and theoretical branches. Observational astronomy is focused on acquiring data from observations of astronomical objects, which is then analyzed using basic principles of physics. Theoretical astronomy is oriented toward the development of computer or analytical models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena. The two fields complement each other, with theoretical astronomy seeking to explain the observational results and observations being used to confirm theoretical results.
Astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs can still play an active role, especially in the discovery and observation of transient phenomena. Amateur astronomers have made and contributed to many important astronomical discoveries, such as finding new comets.

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Holey Glow, Batman – Hole in the Wall Beach, Santa Cruz (Explored #3 – Thanks!)

Holey Glow, Batman - Hole in the Wall Beach, Santa Cruz (Explored #3 - Thanks!)

My Portfolio and Photography Services

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"I’ll just fix it in post." Soapbox time! (but I promise I’ll keep it short :). It seems to me that many photographers today are using post-processing to create their shots, rather than just fine-tune them. Add in some color here, clone out an annoying rock there, cut-n-paste in a sky from another day, and voila, a beautiful photo! I don’t condemn these actions, but I do feel that relying on post to make your shot is a bad idea, because it turns off your brain in the field.

When you know that you can change anything you need to on the computer, you no longer put the effort into finding just the perfect comp, waiting for the perfect light, understanding how to properly expose a scene, and doing a million other things that are so crucial to photography. Post is great, but it’s not a substitute for making the best image you can in the field. When you are able to slow down and work (yes, WORK) to make a killer image in camera, then post-processing serves as the polish which makes the image shine. And this is the real role of post-processing, not the invention of something new.

I bring this up because last night I was guilty of a lazy-photographer mentality myself. I hadn’t found the perfect comp by the time the peak light hit, so I started rushing. Rushing around trying to find something, anything to shoot before the sky blew its proverbial load. Luckily I came across this comp as the light was waning but I was still rushing: I didn’t take the time to take a test shot to make sure my filters were in place, I had my finger in the frame in the lower right, and my filters were spotted with spray. As such, my final shot had water drops everywhere, a blown out sky, and a bit of red haze down in the lower right from my finger. "I’ll just fix it in post" I said to myself, and so I made a real frankenstein of an image here: the foreground and water motion from one shot, the rocky shelves from another, and the sky from yet another. Way too much work to create this image in post when a few extra seconds in the field could have got me the same result.

Tech Notes on this Photo

Nikon D300s
Tokina 12-24 mm
ISO200 – It was getting pretty dark but I wanted a fast-ish shutter speed to catch the streaky wave action so I bumped the ISO to 200
f/8 – sharpest spot on my lens but still provides sufficient DOF at 12mm; helps defocus scratches, drops, and dust on my filters/lens
3 sec – 3 seconds is a pretty long time if you want to catch streaky wave action (0.5 sec – 2 sec is better), so for this shot I had to open the shutter just as the wave reached is peak surge up the beach. That way I caught the full motion as it flowed back out to the sea.
12 mm on a crop sensor
Lee 3-stop and 2-stop soft GND Filters, handheld

3 separate shots with the above settings, hand blended to produce the final image
In Raw Converter (Nikon Capture NX2)
– Global contrast for added pop
– Slightly darkened and added contrast to the sky to add oomph
– Brightened foreground rocks and added contrast to enhance shine

In Photoshop:
– Noise reduction via Neat Image
– Selective sharpening of sand and rocks
– Curves layer to slightly darken and enrich the sky
– Curves layer to brighten and add contrast to foreground rocks
– Curves layer to darken and add contrast to sand and water streaks in mid-ground

Thanks for looking!


Posted by Joshua Cripps on 2010-12-28 18:12:23

Tagged: , joshua , cripps , photography , hole , wall , beach , santa , cruz , california , davenport , ocean , pacific , seascape , landscape , sunset , glow , purple , rocks , shine , waves , sand , reflection , water