Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Creative Photography Week 3, Lunar and Pleiades Conjunction


Well I got my Moon Pleiades conjunction shot but it was nearly a bust...literally.  Thought I would enter it in the Creative Photography Contest.

I'm minding my own business on the side of a dark country road drinking a Pepsi when a car comes speeding along, screeches to a halt across from me, A guy gets out of an unmarked car, great it's a copper, starts walking towards me and says.

Copper: "What are you up to?"

Me:       (Thinking he can't see me too well that far away, still in the dark, also I can't see if his gun is drawn, yikes I think to myself.)  "Taking some images of the Lunar/Pleiades conjunction."

Copper: "Not getting it" (Slowly getting closer to me.)

Me: (Quickly going through my uninformed space person thesaurus) "A bunch of stars and the Moon are getting close tonight and I'm just trying to get some pics". (now right beside me, no gun drawn, can finally breath.)

Copper: "I see, I thought you were a youth drinking, you're obviously not that."

Me: "Laughing."(thinking did you have to use the word obviously, harsh.)

Copper: "Well good luck with your picture taking and have a good night."

Me: "Thanks, you have a good night too."(thinking, hey it's Friday night, the bad guys are all at my mall, try there.)

I have really got to stop taking pictures in the dark on side country roads. I had to wait quite a while for the Moon to rise above all the atmospheric dust and clouds on the horizon before I got a clear shot of the conjunction, then I took two images at different exposures. A one second exposure to capture the cool Lunar Corona and Pleiades and a 1/450 second exposure for the Moon, I then blended the two images in Photoshop to get the final image above.




Cern has been having some of it's own problems.  Just last week they had to replace a faulty transformer in the LHC and then last Friday they had a melt down, seems a faulty electrical connection between two magnets melted causing a mechanical failure.  Expected completion date of the fix is a couple months. Won't be getting sucked into a Black hole anytime soon.

I'll leave you now with an animated Moon Rise taken on the Moon Pleiades conjunction night, you can see what I was up against, the Moonlight was able to burn through the light cloud cover, wasn't the case for the Pleiades.



50 comments:

Enigma said...

GREAT image! Worth the wait...and the conversation with the LEO!

Virtual Voyage said...

Bob, this is a riot, but the shot's pure magic. Will check out CERN - I.T offspring said that devotee's of the game Half Life (think that's the one) have been sending CERN employees game manuals and axes (a feature of the game opening scenes where they attack a collider) - looks like they might be needing them from what you said....

Final_Transit said...

Bob, did you have a very similar cop conversation recently :) Happy contesting!

Roger said...

\m/that moon shot combo rocks Bob\m/

Thanks for participating in Creative Photography it is so hard to take night sky shots I think we could all take lessons from you!

Oh and I am glad you didn't get busted lol!

Ruth said...

Two words: GOR GEOUS!!

WOW, double WOW.

I just love your copper stories. Maybe you should hike a neon sign on the back of your vehicle when you set up your outdoor studio:

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE NIGHT SKY AT WORK

Genie said...

The cops usually don't bother me but Border Patrol always stops to ask what I'm doing. Every dang time.

One time, when I got my first digital and hadn't learned to turn off the flash, the Game Warden came up. Someone had seen me shoot, saw the flash, and thought it was from a gun. The Game Warden was called to come take care of us "poachers" poor guy was asleep when they called him. Ugh.

Susanne49 said...

BEAUTIFUL two shots, Bob!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks enigma, glad you like the shot, only took 300 tries at various ISO and exposure settings that night,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks VV, lol and interesting about Half Life employees and manuals.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, yes I did final_transit, the conversation I had with the previous cop was a lot more relaxed and casual, he had his own camera and was wishing he was taking some pics of the meteor shower as well.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks and me too Roger, it was kind of touch and go for the first few seconds, good blog material but geez, really, chill,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks Ruth, gotta do something, but to get the shot I have to be out in the middle of no where far from the city lights, it is going to get worse when you add the -30c and wind, coming here a few months from now, the coppers don't usually like to get out of their car when it's that cold so maybe a good thing,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol,and ouch, a mad tired Copper, not good, always keep my flash off, for sure a calling card,lol.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Susanne, glad you like them, the Moon Pleiades is my fav conjunction so far.\m/\m/

Swubird said...

Bob:

You did a great job combining those two shots of the moon and the Pleiades. I remember when I was a lot younger I had a book about a famous UFO siting. Supposedly, the aliens came from the Pleiades.

Cops getting into your face in the dark of night can be very intimidating. Pulling up fast like that - what a guy. Maybe you should have offered to take his picture. You could have blended it with the moon and he would be famous as the cop in the moon!

So no black holes in the immediate future. Dang! I just can't wait to see if this thing works. Who knows, it may lead to a whole new propulsion system that allows us to reach the distant stars.

Happy stargazing my friend.

Sherer said...

Bob,

I have been clicking here everyday to see the conjunction! Excellent shot. You have to watch out - its sad but true: You feel like your doing something you shouldn't being out on a dark road in the middle of no-where.

Thanks for the pictures - be back soon.

Jesse

Don said...

I see a bad moon a-risin!

That is such a beautiful photo. I love how the moon is so dominant, yet you have the Peiades so visible. The cop incident must have given you an extra burst of energy!

napaboaniya said...

Combination of both really works well.
Awesome shots I'm viewing today.
Good luck in the contest!! :)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, too bad you don't still have that book, do you remember what it was called?

Lol, I got a shot of the car leaving, next time I'm going to give them my blog address, they can comment,lol.

Exactly , the LHC will discover all kinds of new energies , maybe we can get out of the fossil fuel thing.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Jesse, let's put it this way, it was another adventure, you never think you are going to be involved in one when you head out, then it just happens, great stuff for conversation after the fact,lol.\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks Don, you're right, I was more determined after the raid then before, lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks napaboaniya, there is some good stuff out there this week.\m/

BABYLONEZOO said...

encore une jolie photo pour ce challenge

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks babylonezoo.\m/\m/

Livingsword said...

Hi Bob!

It is a good thing you were drinking that Pepsi instead of the Corona you mention later on…..Hang on Pepsi! Yuck! (And you seemed such a level headed guy) LOL

I love the image! You may not be a youth but you are sooo cool Bob! :)

Cern is proving to be quite interesting, sure is an expensive project….

Bob do you have an endless supply of outstanding gif’s?

It is nice to see that during my blogging break everything is as it should be, thanks for keeping me in the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed…

Michelle said...

Great story to go with a great photo. :)

Bob Johnson said...

Lol livingsword, hey Pepsi is awesome!!

Good to see you here again, and yes I got a million of them,enough to last a life time,lol.

The LHC is now down for the year, they got their reg winter maintenance coming up now.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Michelle, and thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

Kimmie said...

WOW! That was a great story and a very amazing photo! :-)

Good Luck!

Marvin the Martian said...

I'm always happy to talk to the police, and I'm grateful that they stop by and keep an eye on things, because I'm on their side, and they know it. But sometimes I do wish they'd make more of an effort to keep an eye on things where it's actually needed. Mainly all I need them for is to retrieve the bodies and fill out the police report. ;-)

Sanni @ Life... said...

WOAH! Great capture! I'm deeply impressed b/c I always s*ck big time when it comes to nightshots!

Good luck! :-)

Going2Oahu said...

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Keep up the good work!

Bob Johnson said...

Why thank you very much Kimmie, and good luck to you too.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, I hear you, we are all working together for the better good, just those first few seconds when he didn't know I was on his side, good thing he didn't have a dog,lol, I've worked with police before with dogs, their dogs are down right scary, have to have their trainer with them at all times, they bark the crap out of you,lol. \m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks sanni@life. I find with night shooting like everything else, just takes practice, trouble with night shooting, target objects are either too bright or too dim and on top of that,celestial items are not stationary due to the rotation of the Earth.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks going2oahu, I will drop by your site.\m/\m/

Andrew said...

Really funny!!!!
Jeesh,do make sure you shut the flash off when the copper is walking towards you.He may have a itchy trigger finger?! :) .

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

STRIKING image of the moon and Pleiades Conjunction, Bob!!!

I wish you could use my backyard for your astronomy shots. Jeff and I should buy a telescope too. That's going on a Christmas wish list.

I have my fingers crossed you win that contest.

National Geographic is having a photo contest too. :D

CERN sure is having it's problems. Many times I wonder if the quality of manufactured products has taken a dip.

Super post and photos!!!


Hugs, JJ...who is just back from camping. Slept in the back of the car...you should see Jeff's back, knee and ankle. He's a hobblin'. LOL We were going to buy a pop up camper but with Bush's do not panic address to the nation, I think we'll hold off. I think the car is better than a tent at this time of the year because of the heavy dew.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Andrew, no doubt,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, I wish I had your dark skies for taking pics too, wouldn't have to travel to far away dangerous places,lol.

Too bad about Jeff, cars are great and easy to set up for camping, that is if you're the right size,lol. \m/\m/

Peter said...

Hi! Yes, it's a shame about the CERN project. I hope those Aussies weren't to blame. I also see some hackers got into their site and defaced it. NOW, THAT IS A WORRY.

Take Care,
Peter

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Peter,not to worry, only a very low level hack by some idiot punk brats.\m/\m/

gmacomics said...

worth the wait. great capture!!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks gmacomics!\m/\m/

Dianne said...

Wow Wow Wow

I literally could not stop looking at it, it's mesmerizing

Bob Johnson said...

Wow, thanks so much Dianne, glad you like the shot.\m/\m/

Disney tickets said...

wow these photos look so good

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks disney tickets,\m/\m/

Gattina said...

Very beautiful picture ! Looks so unreal to me !

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks gattina!\m/\m/