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Stellar Neophyte

Venus, Mars, and Crescent Moon December 5, 2016

8 Dec 2016, 01:19 UTC
Venus, Mars, and Crescent Moon December 5, 2016
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These cool nights are nice but not quite clear enough for some deep sky photography. Since I'm limited by gear, I'm very picky about my nights - if it's going to be the one time I go out all winter it better be good! So in the meantime, I have been doing some quick captures. Here I made the most of the alignment of Venus, Mars, and the crescent moon.The thin clouds and contrails made Venus look larger than normal, and by increasing the f-number I was able to add an interesting lens flare around the moon. It looks like an eerie sun in a dark sky. The same principle works for taking photos of Christmas lights, you can really make them pop by adding tiny lens flares around each one. You just have to increase the exposure time to let in more light, and keep the ISO low to reduce noise.Single frame Canon T5i ISO 800, 33mm, f/7.1, 6 sec lightened in PhotoshopHere's a closer look with Mars sneaking behind the branches of my favorite river birch trees in the backyard. Venus looks huge in the haze.Single frame Canon T5i ISO 800, 38mm, f/7.1, 6 sec lightened in PhotoshopContrails ...

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