In August this year, we presented you with beautiful shortlisted images of Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 contest. The winners of nine categories are officially announced today, along with the overall winner. There were over 3800 entries taken from over 90 countries across the globe. We bring you the best images according to the contest judges.
The solar eclipse is over, but the hype isn’t. As a matter of fact, some of us living far from North America are even more hyped after the eclipse – because now we get to see the photos. And where can you find lots of awesome photos of space? In NASA’s image library, of course. They have published the images of the 2017 solar eclipse right after the event, and as you can expect – they are simply stunning.
No pretty pictures in this blog I’m afraid! This is a blog for gear geeks. The long-awaited Canon 6D Mark II camera is out, replacing the original Canon 6D after that camera’s popular 5-year reign as a prime choice among astrophotographers for all kinds of sky images, including nightscapes and time-lapses.
As all new cameras do, the 6D Mark II is currently fetching a full list price of $2000 U.S. Eventually it will sell for less. The original 6D, introduced in 2012 at that same list price, might still be available from many outlets, but for less, likely below $1500 US.
The Royal Observatory Greenwich, in association with Insight Investment and BBC Sky at Night Magazine, organized the ninth annual contest for the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year. They have recently published the shortlisted images for 2017, which will show you spectacular images of space taken from all corners of the world.
Over 3800 entries were sent to the contest, from 91 countries across the globe. They range from stunning photos of Aurorae to photos of galaxies, comets, planets, and stars. The contest even includes the first time images of Uranus and asteroids. Out of almost 4000 photos, here are 31 of the shortlisted ones for your enjoyment and inspiration.
Although I’ve (sadly) never owned a Nintendo Game Boy Camera, I love to see how artists, scientists or nineties kids play with it in the modern age. An astronomer Alexander Pietrow used this 1998 gadget for astrophotography, and ended up with 2bit images of the Moon and Jupiter. He shares the process and the photos with DIYP, so take a look how the Moon craters look when taken with a 2bit, 128×112px Game Boy Camera. And if you use a telescope, you could take them yourself, too.
Total eclipses aren’t actually as rare as many people think, happening somewhere on earth about every 18 months or so. But to have them appear over a particular part of the planet, or even a specific country, isn’t quite as often. But, there’s is a total solar eclipse happening over the USA in a couple of months. Monday, August 21st, to be precise. For many Americans, this will be a once in a lifetime event.
Destin Sandlin from YouTube’s SmarterEveryDay has, naturally, had this event at the forefront of his mind recently. So, he went to interview some people about it to find out more from a science perspective. But Destin also had a chat with eclipse fanatic and creator of the Solar Eclipse Timer app, Dr Gordon Telepun, MD, to find out how best to capture the event on video.
I’m not really a big astrophotographer, the skies are just too bright around here most of the time. I’ve dabbled with it here and there, but never anything serious. Recently, though, I’ve found myself in possession of the Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens (review coming soon). With a lens this wide (field of view) and this wide (aperture), it was made for astrophotography. So I’ve been experimenting again.
So, this video from YouTuber Josh Katz has come along at just the right time for me. He too, says he’s no expert in photographing the night sky, but he knows enough to explain the basics and get you started. Also like myself, Josh lives in an area where there’s a constant struggle to find a sky dark enough to actually be worth shooting. But he offers a few tips for that, too.
This is the famous and elusive Horsetail “Firefall” Fall in Yosemite, but unlike every other image you may have seen – always taken near sunset around February – the fire effect in this image is caused by moonlight. That’s the only possible way one could see the firefall and stars at the same time!
How does the firefall effect happen in the first place?
Before we dive into the moonlit firefall, let me quickly explain how the more popular firefall event works. That is, the one driven by direct sunlight during sunset.
It’s basically a rare event that happens in specific dates when the sun is about to set (so you get the typical “golden hour” colors) and its rays only hit in the thin area on the El Capitan walls right behind Horsetail Fall, reflecting it right against the waterfall, causing the effect that the water is indeed red or golden color, almost lava-like. Several things must come together for a firefall to form, though.
Sony makes excellent cameras. In the last few years, they launched a completely new full frame camera system that has pushed the bounds of digital photography. I switched entirely to Sony gear after first seeing the tremendous low-light capability of their a7S and have enjoyed many outings shooting astrophotography on many different Sony camera bodies since. I have previously recommended Sony gear to countless numbers of fellow photographers looking for the best landscape astrophotography cameras. That is no longer the case. If you want to shoot landscape astrophotography, don’t buy a Sony. If you already have a Sony camera, don’t update the firmware.
Here’s why I no longer recommend Sony cameras and how the latest firmware update made Sony’s a7RII and a7SII terrible for astrophotography.