Five-Years Ago (14-September-2013) — New Jersey

Backyard Late Summer Nighttime Sky Over New Jersey.

[Updated from five-years ago. Added a slideshow with the 25 individual frames extracted from the video.]

Last night the sky was clear, and the waxing gibbous moon (61%) bright, so I set up a couple of cameras with big lenses out on the deck. One of the systems (Nikon D4 camera TC-E III 20 teleconverter and 600 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 400, 1200 mm, f/8, 1/60 sec)) was set to record video (1080p, 30 fps). While reviewing the videos I noticed one with something (a bird?) passing in front of the moon. Played back at 10 fps shows the transit to occur over 25 frames. The bird is not very clear, or in focus relative to the moon. Someday, I want to catch a satellite transiting in front of the moon.


Individual images from the slideshow can be viewed here.

Six-Years Ago (13-September-2012) — Belgium

Gone to see Europe. Semester at Sea. Fall 2012 Semester Voyage on the MV Explorer. Day 21: Antwerp, Belgium.

Early Dawn Jupiter and Waning Crescent Moon Over the Antwerp Cathedral from the Deck of the MV Explorer. Image taken with a Nikon D800 camera and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 70 mm, f/5.6, 2 sec).

Early Dawn Jupiter and Waning Crescent Moon Over the Antwerp Cathedral from the Deck of the M/V Explorer. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 70 mm, f/5.6, 2 sec). (David J Mathre)
Early Dawn Jupiter and Waning Crescent Moon Over the Antwerp Cathedral from the Deck of the M/V Explorer. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 70-300 mm VR lens (ISO 100, 70 mm, f/5.6, 2 sec). (David J Mathre)

Nine-Years Ago (01-September-2009) — Alaska

Gone to See North America Road Trip. Day 11: Haines, Alaska.

I completed the ferry voyage to Alaska aboard the Alaska Marine Highway ferry MV Columbia the previous afternoon. Rather than starting the drive to Anchorage right away, I checked into a local B&B and spent the night in Haines. My room on the 2nd floor looked over the harbor across to the mountains. I set up a camera to record the night sky (Nikon D3x camera and 45 mm f/2.8 PC-E lens). When reviewing the images in the morning, found that during the night there was a display of northern lights which I had not been expecting. With faster computers and new software, I have been able to re-process the night sky star trails with the full high-resolution raw images, and create a time-lapse video. In the past I could only process the lower resolution jpg images.


Individual images from the slide show can be viewed here.

Friday (24-August-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Summer Nighttime Sky Over New Jersey.

The second clear night in a row, at least until early morning when some clouds came in and the lens was covered with condensation again. This time I increased the focal length to 10 mm on the 8-15 mm fisheye lens. Both star trails and a time-lapse video of the nighttime sky.


Star trails over New Jersey. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D850 camera and 8-15 mm fisheye lens (ISO 100, 10 mm, f/4, 30 sec). Raw images processed with Capture One Pro, and the composite generated using Photoshop CC (statistics, maximum). Individual images from the slide show can be viewed here.

Friday (24-August-2018) — New Jersey

Summer Nighttime Sky Over New Jersey.

Composite of nearly full moon images. Rather than an in-camera composite image (as I have done in the past), these were created during post processing (Photoshop CC Pro, statistics, maximum). I set a Nikon D5 camera up with a 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens to take images every 1 second. I was hoping to catch a jet pass in front of the moon, as I had seen the previous night — but no joy. When I get some time I will make a time-lapse video of the moon crossing the screen.

Seven Moons. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 100, 600 mm, f/11, 1/250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)
Seven Moons. Composite of images taken with a Nikon D5 camera and 600 mm f/4 VR telephoto lens (ISO 100, 600 mm, f/11, 1/250 sec). (DAVID J MATHRE)