Categories
Astro-photography Astronomy

Whipstock Farm Astrophotography

High up above McGregor in the Breede River Winelands is a dark sky site par excellence – Whipstop Farm. The skies are dark and the horizons are low enough not to become intrusive.

Orion setting into the light pollution of Worcestor

The only down side of the site is the light pollution from Worcester but it is far enough away to be minimally intrusive. The rest of the horizons are pretty much clear of light pollution. Even Cape Town doesn’t really feature.

Facing south. The Milky Way dominates

The light in the trees is from a nearby chalet. There are areas away from the chalets, but the management were happy to kill the lights for me.

Satellite photo bomb
Scorpio rising with the Milky Way in attendance.

I liked the effect of the lights on the trees so I left the lights of my chalet on for effect.

The famous alignment with Jupiter and Venus very close together

I was fortunate enough to be there during the great alignment with Jupiter and Venus almost touching. Such a beautiful sight.

Venus and Jupiter, plus Jovian moons

Separated by a long telephoto lens accompanied by much swearing. The two planets were incredibly bright in the morning sky.

If you fancy some good dark skies, this is the place Whipstock Farm

Categories
Flowers Photography Trees

Snow in Summer Tree

One of our neighbours has this amazing tree which, in early summer breaks out in white blossoms. The whole tree gets covered.
Enjoy the sight of a Snow in Summer tree

Categories
Astro-photography Astronomy

Jupiter and Venus

On 1st February 2008 Jupiter and Venus were very closely aligned to one another. These pictures, taken with a digital camera show that event. And some other stars as a bonus.

The Moon in Scorpio
Categories
Birding Photography

Nest making

A double collared sunbird female collecting cotton scraps from stakes we used to support plants.

Double collared sunbird collection cotton for nesting
Double collared sunbird collection cotton for nesting
The male looks on
Categories
flower Flowers Photography Travel

Maartblomme

Once in about a decade the March Flowers or Maartblomme rise out of the harsh Tankwa Karoo soil and bring colour and life to the dry and harsh landscape. We were fortunate to make the 5 hour trip from Cape Town to Nieuwoudtville to see them.

A glimpse of the harsh Tankwa Karoo

The flowers seem to congregate in patches as you can see from this picture.

The flowers put out a spike covered by

Categories
Birding Photography

Random photographs

Some photographs from our trip to Riviersonderend

Categories
Photography

Sunset from Signal Hill

Taken while photographing the Solar Eclipse, 2020 these pics are quite nice and an attempt to understand RAW file processing.

Categories
Astro-photography

The Great Conjunction 2020

Jupiter and Saturn were the closest they have been and will be for decades, less than 1 degree. I took some photographs but was hampered by aerosols in the air so I got a soft focus look, but some pictures none the less.

A major problem was the fact that the planets were so close to the sun, forcing me to use a very high ISO setting (6400) so that I could get long aperture settings. There was also a huge gale force wind blowing affecting the length of exposure too.

Jupiter and Saturn with the Jovian moons visible
And added problem. There was a huge wind as you can see from the palm tree in the foreground
Palm trees about to obscure my viewing.
Not sure if this is an aberration or if the rings are for real. The grain is very obvious here.
Categories
Astro-photography Astronomy Photography

Partial Solar Eclipse 2020

I have never photographed a solar eclipse for so when the December 2020 eclipse happened I was thoroughly unprepared. Despite this, I managed to get some sensible picture. Not crisp and clear cut, but the eclipse is visible. Note that these pictures were taken as and when the sun popped out from behind clouds. The sun had set before total which was a disappointment though not unexpected.

Categories
Birding National Park Photography

Random Photos

We went to the Bontebok National and got some great pictures.