Radio telescope near Brewster, Washington. From this angle it makes me think of a big steel flower…
One of the radio telescopes of the VLA (Very Large Array) near Socorro, New Mexico.
I wanted a view from near the base of the antenna so I had to use a four shot panorama to get everything in. You may see dark streaks against the sky – it was snowing as I was shooting. Normally on a panorama I would do a bit more correcting of the geometry and cropping but I liked the effect of the curved sides of the image that were present after the first stitch-together of the shots. Shots were taken with my Nikon D800 and Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 100, 24mm, f/6.3, 1/160 second exposure.
Radio telescope near Brewster, Washington. Part of the VLBA (Very Large Baseline Array).
I woke up around 2am today. Decided to wander outside and what did I see? The first clear night in weeks! Time to practice my night sky photography. Did a series of long exposure shots (30 seconds, ISO 800, f/3.5) but could not get the focus right. This is one of the hardest things for me about shooting the night sky. Auto-focus doesn’t work, you can’t see anything through the viewfinder, and your focus has to be perfectly on infinity. Anyway, after 40 minutes of trying in 32 degree weather I gave up. Looked at my blurry star shots and thought “Hey! What if I merge all of these exposures?” This is the result. I think I like it better than the properly focused night sky shot I was trying to get. I hope you like it – now I’m going back to bed.