Sunday (09-October-2011) — New Jersey

Autumn Nighttime Sky Over New Jersey.

After nearly two months of rain, rain, and cloudy skies — we finally have been able to see the sun and very blue skies. At night, I’ve taken the opportunity to get night sky images, as well as lunar images through some of my exotic 300, 400, 500, and 600 mm lenses. One of the problems I was having for the overnight time-lapsed images was that the lens would get covered by condensation during the night and ruin the night sky images. ARRG! As the weekend progressed, the temperature rose and the relative humidity decreased. I finally got a full night image set with limited problems with condensation. The first  time-lapse video and star trail was recorded with a  Nikon D3x camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens @ 14 mm. There was a bit of condensation that affected the end of the video from this lens. The second  time-lapse video and star trail image was recorded with a Nikon D3 camera and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens looking north from my deck.

Lessons learned: 1) I need to look into a resistive heater to keep the lenses warm enough to prevent condensation. 2) I didn’t know that the 14-24 mm lens would creep if pointed straight up — during one night the focal length changed from 14 to 18 mm. For the last night, I used Gaffer tape to fix the focal length of the lens at 14 mm. 3) My tripod/heads are not strong enough to prevent movement when I change batteries. Look into an external power supply and not batteries for long overnight image session.

Star Trails - Southern Sky View (19:30-0545). Composite of images taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 14-28 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/2.8, 119 sec exposures). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails – Southern Sky View (19:30-0545). Composite of images taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 14-28 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/2.8, 119 sec exposures). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails - Northern Sky View (19:30-0545). Composite of images taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 200, 16 mm, f/4, 119 sec exposures). (David J Mathre)
Star Trails – Northern Sky View (19:30-0545). Composite of images taken with a Nikon D3 camera and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 200, 16 mm, f/4, 119 sec exposures). (David J Mathre)

Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer updating images in My Image of the Day Photoblog, and My eBird (with images of nearly 450 bird species). hope post COVID-19 to be a world traveler again. My interests include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, sky, and seascapes, travel, and astrophotography. I look for unique ways of viewing the world and presenting my images. I have traveled to over 55 countries in six continents, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on home renovation and expansion of a wildflower garden/meadow.

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