Astrophotography and Exploring and Photographing the Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve
The Torrance Barrens Dark Sky Preserve is a conservation area in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. The reserve consists of Crown Lands in the municipalities of Gravenhurst and Muskoka Lakes. Torrance Barrens is the ideal location in Ontario Canada for people to enjoy star gazing and photographers to capture the night sky free of light pollution.
Dark Sky Preserves are unique and rare and there are only 6 in Ontario, 19 in Canada, and less than 100 in the entire world.
Comet Neowise Astrophotography 2020
The last month or so, especially the last week have been extremely challenging and rewarding.
In trying to branch out and discover/learn things I’ve taken a liking to astrophotography. The last month or so have reminded me of my earlier days of exploring and when I first picked up the camera, so much to learn and figure out.
Last night, the comet Neowise was at its closest proximity to earth and would be the best opportunity to capture it, so I headed to my secret spot near Milton, Ontario to hunker down for the night.
Finding the comet with the naked eye proved to be very difficult, I knew exactly where it should be but I couldn’t see it, then I found that if I focussed my eyes to the bottom of the big dipper that the tail of the comet would enter my sight, very strange!
I pointed my camera up to the spot and finally I had found its location and began shooting.
While shooting time-lapse footage for a future video I got a notification on my phone that the International Space Station would be passing by in 2 minutes, what an opportunity this would be to capture the comet and the ISS in the same photo.
I had just enough time to set my composition and my settings when I spotted the ISS coming on the horizon. The photo below had to be done as a composite by selecting the trail of the ISS from 17 photos, shot at 10 seconds each and merged to make the ISS trail, then I added that layer onto my photo of the comet.
I did it this way for two reasons
1 – If I used the 17 photos merged together, all of the stars, including the comet would simply be small lines and wouldn’t make sense.
2 – If I used only one of the 10 second exposures, the ISS would be only one small line, I wanted to show the entire pass.
The next photos are a few of my personal selects, one showing the crescent moon setting over the horizon and the others simply showing the comet in the star filled sky.
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