Mystic Sky of South Island

August 10th, 2012

I am very happy we made Lake Tekapo on South Island of New Zealand our winter holiday destination. Of course it had to be around the New Moon and I hoped for some clear nights. The weather was good and I had two cameras clicking away during six nights.

One lucky night the fog descended on the valley but Mt. John remained above it.

Boiling Clouds

The lights of Lake Tekapo village and passing cars under the blanket of fog made for a very cool foreground. I think I like it even better than Aurora. Warm thanks to the University of Canterbury for letting me use the Mt. John Observatory grounds.

Matariki (the Māori name for the Pleiades) eluded me due to clouds or a full memory card until the very last morning at the Church of Good Shepherd. Even then it looked like the fog thickened just before Matariki rose but it cleared up just in time when Jupiter and Venus joined the show.

 

I hope you enjoy watching this five-minute long film as much as I enjoyed making it.

3 Comments for this entry

  1. Tony:

    How do you make those brighter stars look bigger? The photo I shot seems to have equal size for all stars :(

    • terrastro:

      Tony, there are a few ways to achieve that and make brighter stars appear like our eyes see them.

      1. Thin cloud or moisture in the sky (lake in the shot with the Church and Orion) – works best but it is getting harder to order that type of weather :)
      2. StarSpikes Pro 2 plugin for Photoshop from ProDigitalSoftware:
        http://www.prodigitalsoftware.com/StarSpikesPro2.html It works very very well and produces natural looking results if you play with the sliders and match your lens diffraction pattern.
      3. Fog filters on the lens – hard to use with my 14-24mm lens
  2. Ksutw:

    Alex, thank you for your work! Always glad to new message from you and more space;)

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