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Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-31-2021, 08:09 PM  
Post your medium format photos!
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 17,247
Views: 2,796,131
Pentax 645D, 35mm f3.5

Emerald Lake Trail, RMNP

Emerald-Lake-3 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

Emerald-Lake-5 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

Emerald-Lake-4 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

Emerald-Lake-7 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

Emerald-Lake-1 by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Contest Voting 08-06-2021, 03:53 PM  
Hammer Forged
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 7
Views: 111
Hammer-Forged by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 07-16-2021, 08:45 PM  
Landscape Devil's Tower - A Different Perspective
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 17
Views: 343
Thanks again everyone!


Well, I decided to rework the photo a little bit.

Like many of my photos, I am initially happy with the image, but after a day or two, it just doesn't look good anymore.

So, I went into PixInsight (specialized astrophotography software) and redeveloped the original images and reworked them, then finished in photoshop.

I am more happy with this image, though that may change in a few days as well [IMG]/images/smilies/icon_smile_blackeye.gif[/IMG]

Forum: Post Your Photos! 07-14-2021, 08:21 PM  
Landscape Devil's Tower - A Different Perspective
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 17
Views: 343
I just got home yesterday from a cross country motorcycle trip. Stacked up over 2500 miles and had a lot of fun, got to see lots of stuff and a lot of relatives as well.

My first stop was Devil's Tower, Wyoming. About 370 miles from home and a great place to camp.

That night, I rode up a dirt road to the back of Devils Tower and hiked up a little hill.

Here's what I took a little after midnight on a moonless night. This little image doesn't do it justice. Looks quite a lot nicer on my large calibrated editing monitor at full size!

Hope you like it.

Devils-Tower-small by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-14-2020, 02:42 PM  
Pets Luna in the Snow
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 2
Views: 305
Luna, my new puppy, out in front of the shop enjoying the snow. She really likes it and plows her snout under the snow to see what is underneath.

These photos make her look a lot bigger than she really is, she is 11 lbs and a a little over a foot long.

It was hard to get these photos as she wants to be right next to me, and when I run, she chases me. I am using a manual focus medium format camera, the the focus is slightly off on one of them.

Luna 3 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

Luna 4 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

Luna 5 by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-13-2020, 10:26 AM  
Pets New Pup - Luna
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 7
Views: 274
My Freya passed away last November.

After a year of no dog, I have been missing one in my life terribly. I decided it was time for another.

A local girl's dogs had new pups, and after some visiting, I decided to get one. She is a pure bred APBT and a real sweatheart. Her parents were on site and both were very nicely behaved dogs, very friendly.

Yesterday I picked her up, and man, I am happy to have another dog in the house.

She hasn't whined once yet and is the sweetest thing. Very playful and affectionate, always wants to be on you or touching you. She was great with all my nieces and nephews too (of course they all wanted to see her right away.

She has one very bright blue eye and a green eye that seems to turn hazel in different conditions. She had her shots and a full checkup yesterday before I picked her up and the vet said she is in great shape.

Awesome little doggy, especially for an 8 week old little pup.


Luna 1 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

Luna 2 by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 11-19-2020, 05:22 PM  
Night FINALLY a Couple of Clear Nights - The Heart Nebula (maybe my best one yet)
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 20
Views: 1,147
Thanks everyone!

For those who have asked, I used a Celestron RASA 11" F2.2 Astrograph and a ZWO ASI183MM Pro Cooled mono camera to make this image.

Here is a link to a larger version. Wait for it to load, then you can click on it for a larger photo:

https://scontent-den4-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/120159947_10218385083197781_76...e4&oe=5FDDED8D
Forum: Post Your Photos! 09-23-2020, 10:24 AM  
Night FINALLY a Couple of Clear Nights - The Heart Nebula (maybe my best one yet)
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 20
Views: 1,147
With all the smoke and clouds, I've only been able to do astrophotography 6 nights since April.

I finally had a couple of clear nights over the past week or so to finish up one more image.
This is the Heart Nebula, located 7500 light years from Earth. The nebula is lit from the ionizing radiation from the star cluster located in it's center. This star cluster is known as Melotte 15.

The image is a combination of:

150, 90 second Hydrogen Alpha Images
66, 90 second Oxygen III images
58, 90 second Sulfur II Images

For a total of 6.9 hours of imaging, the longest single image with my RASA 11 so far. This is also my first image that I used a powerful software package designed specifically for Astrophotography, called Pixinsight. It is a daunting program to learn and is very different than my normal Photoshop routine, but the final image is much cleaner, deeper and more detailed than I have ever made.

I need to upload it somewhere where you can see a larger version, this small sample takes a lot away from the real image.


Heart-Nebula by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 09-12-2020, 03:06 PM  
Machinery Getting Ready for Competition
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 2
Views: 315
After reloading some ammo, I thought I should take a photo of my competition rig for USPSA Carry Optics.

So I swept the garage floor, set up a couple of remote flashes and, and this is what I got. Shot with my Pentax 645D (LOVE that camera!) and Pentax-A 645 105mm F3.5 lens.

Sig-P320-Legion by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 08-13-2020, 08:17 PM  
Night The Pelican
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 6
Views: 420
Well, it finally cleared for a couple of nights here in Colorado. It's been so cloudy that I haven't been able to do any astrophotography in over a month! The couple clear nights gave way to smoke filled skies as a few decently sized wild fires are now burning in the area. Just my luck :mad:

Anyway, I was able to capture around 4 hours of data on the Pelican Nebula. The image looks nice and detailed, with nice reds and oranges on my calibrated monitor, but on my laptop, it looks a little too subdued and not as contrasty. When every I edit, I don't know what monitor I should use as most people don't have calibrated monitors, but it is hard not to use that great large display for photo work.

The Pelican Nebula is a large emission nebula, a stellar nursery. This star forming region also has a few Herbig-Haro structures. One of them is visible on the tip of the gas and dust column. Herbig-Haro structures are formed from ionized gas jets that are ejected from newly forming stars.

The Pelican Nebula is located 1800 light years from Earth.

This image is made from:

66, 90 second H-Alpha photos
66, 90 second OIII photos
42, 90 second SII photos.

Shot with my RASA 11 and ZWO ASI183MM Pro.

Pelican-Nebula-Small by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-08-2020, 06:52 PM  
Nature The Elephant's Trunk
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 11
Views: 678
Thanks!

I use Astro Pixel Processor for staking the individual frames. I then use Photoshop to combine the three final images (Ha, OIII and SII filters) to a single color image. I also use Photoshop for all the additional editing.

There are purpose built astrophotography editing programs, but I don't use them. I've been using Photoshop for so long, that I don't know if I could use the command type editing that programs like PixInsight uses.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-08-2020, 06:36 PM  
Nature The Elephant's Trunk
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 11
Views: 678
I finally had a clear night last night to finish up shooting the Elephant's Trunk.

This image is made from a total of 5 hours of imaging.

The Elephants Trunk is located 2400 light years away and is 20 light years high. The nebula is made up of thick dust and gas which is lit up by the multiple star system directly above it.

This image is made from:

78, 120 second H-Alpha Images
38, 120 second SII Images
28, 120 second OIII Images

Equipment Used:

Celestron RASA 11
ZWO ASI183MM Pro
EQ6-R Pro
ZWO ASI290MM Mini guide camera

Elephant's Trunk 5 hrs Small by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/18
Forum: General Photography 05-14-2020, 03:18 PM  
I'm Famous! (not really) - Denver 7 Article on My Astrophotography
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 32
Views: 1,657
Thanks everyone!


Denver 7 finished the video. They have been playing short segments on the morning news and are supposed to air some tonight and tomorrow morning (must be a slow news day ;)
















Youtu.be



Forum: General Photography 05-13-2020, 10:18 PM  
I'm Famous! (not really) - Denver 7 Article on My Astrophotography
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 32
Views: 1,657
I was contacted by Denver 7 a few days ago about my astrophotography.

They wanted to do an article and a short segment on the evening news. Yesterday we had a Zoom meeting in my dome and I gave them a few photos. The article posted today and they will be airing it on the evening news tomorrow.

Here's the article if interested: Shooting the stars: Colorado astrophotographer builds backyard dome observatory


This is the first time I've been on the news for my photography, so it's pretty exciting. I have been on the news a few other times in different places, but that was always having to do with Drone Racing with MultiGP.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 03-27-2020, 08:21 AM  
Night Galaxies Collide - M51
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 7
Views: 493
Thanks everyone!



I am the exact same. That is one reason why Astrophotography has been so addicting for me. I am amazed and in a different world every night when shooting a new image. It is kind of mind boggling to think about . The distances involved and the huge amount of "stuff" out there.

It is pretty awe inspiring to see the images pop up on the screen. Really makes you think and appreciate your place here.

---------- Post added 03-27-20 at 09:24 AM ----------



For this shot I used the following

Celestron RASA 11" astrograph
EQ6-R Pro mount
ZWO ASI183MM Pro (cooled mono camera)
ZWO ASI183MC Pro (cooled color camera)
60mm guide scope
ZWO ASI290MM Mini Guide Camera

Everything sits in my backyard observatory I built over the last year.

New RASA 11 by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 03-26-2020, 09:47 AM  
Night Galaxies Collide - M51
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 7
Views: 493
Finally had a clear night last night (for a little while anyway), so I shot M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy.

These are actually a pair of interacting galaxies, which are literally tearing each other apart. Located 37,000,000 light years from Earth, this galaxy is one of my favorites to photograph.

The first photo is uncropped, where you can see many other distant galaxies in the vicinity of M51. The second photo is a cropped, or "zoomed" in version.

Total imaging time for this image was just under 2 hours.

140, 20 second Luminance images
135, 30 second RGB images

Not too bad for a light polluted suburban backyard ;)

M51 1.9 hrs small by Colo CJ, on Flickr



M51 1.9 Hrs Crop by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 03-11-2020, 06:29 PM  
Night The Anatomy of an Astro Image
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 5
Views: 393
I post my astrophotos here about once a week.

I figured I'd take you though exactly how I get these images.

Depending on the target of the night, there are different capturing techniques, and different editing techniques, but here is one I just completed today; The Rosette Nebula.

To make this image, I decided to shoot in Narrow band, using filters that only let in 6nm of the exact wavelength of light. This is normally done shooting through Hydrogen Alpha, Sulfur II and Oxygen III filters. Shooting though these filters, filter out all other light except for a very narrow band or wavelength of light associated with specific gasses. Combining these in different ways makes color images, the best known being the "Hubble Palette", where you make images from the Sulfur II filter the Red channel, images from the Hydrogen Alpha filter the Green channel and images from the Oxygen III filter, the blue channel.

First you get set up for a night of imaging. I completed my backyard observatory a few months ago, so that is easy for me. It used to take about an hour to drag everything out into the yard, set everything up, get the mount Polar aligned and wait for the scope to become thermally stable. Now, all I have to do, is open up the shutter on the dome, connect my computer and I am imaging in less than 10 minutes.

New RASA 11 by Colo CJ, on Flickr


Imaging can take up to 30+ hours, depending on your setup and how "deep" you want to image. The more time in an image, the more detailed and noise free the final image is. I now am using an f2.2 scope, so I can get images in just a couple hours that would have taken my 20-30 hours to get with my last setup.

After getting the images, the fun part begins.

First you have to use a program to "stack" and align the individual filtered images to combine them. This gives you a final set of stacked images, one image for each filter. Then you use another program to combine these seperate black and white images to get a final color image. I use Photoshop for this, but there are dedicated astro programs that do this (some say) better, but they are costly.

Here is the Hydrogen Alpha image after stacking 60 individual 120 second frames. This will be the Green channel in the final image

Ha2 by Colo CJ, on Flickr


And here is the Oxygen III image after stacking 35 individual 120 second frames. This will be the blue channel in the final image.

OIII2 by Colo CJ, on Flickr


For this image, I didn't shoot through the Sulfur II filter. I didn't really have the time and the weather hasn't been very clear. Luckily this nebula doesn't have a huge amount of Sulfur II data, so I used the Hydrogen Alpha and Oxygen III images to create a synthetic Sulfur II image. This will be the red channel in the final image.

Synth Green by Colo CJ, on Flickr


After combining the three images in photoshop, I get a color image. Many times this image is very dull, depending on the object you are photographing. The data is there, but you have to really pull it out of the image. After all, there is over 1GB of data in this image, you just have to coax that data out.

SHO Before Editing by Colo CJ, on Flickr


For this image, since I knew I'd have to pull every bit of color and detail as possible out, I edited out the stars. This lets me edit the nebulosity and not bloat the stars. Bloated stars look bad. To get here from the previous image took about an hour of editing. WAY too much to get into specifics, but this is really the fun part for me.

HST_image2_starless by Colo CJ, on Flickr

I then added the stars back into the image, did a little more color and contrast correction and ended up with this final image (for now).

When the weather cooperates I am going to go back and shoot with a color camera to get the stars the right colors. Here they are too bland. It is hard to get decent color in stars with narrow band imaging, so most shoot a separate color set just for correcting the stars.





Here it is, 3.2 hours of imaging, 1 hour of stacking and roughly 3 hours of final editing.

The Rosette

Rosette 3 Hours (S)HO small by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 02-22-2020, 05:03 PM  
Abstract A Very Dusty Horsehead
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 8
Views: 503
We finally a clear night here in Northern Colorado, so I was able to use my new scope again!

I decided to shoot the Horsehead and Flame.

As I am still trying to figure out the best way to use my new RASA 11, I used two different cameras this time. I used a ZWO ASI183MC Pro for the RGB and a ZWO ASI183MM Pro for the H-Alpha. Instead of using a filterwheel, this time I used a 6nm 1.25" h-alpha filter with a ZWO adapter screwed inside the ZWO m42 extension which seemed to work very well. I had no vignetting at all and the 6nm filter seems to work well at f2.2.

Anyway, here is what I got with 3.1 hours total integration. This is the deepest I've ever imaged the Horsehead, lots of dust compared to my last try at this part of the sky. My normal imaging scope used for this was a Stellarvue SV80, which at f7, would have taken me 31 hours of integration to get what I got with just 3.1 hours with the RASA. I am LOVING this scope!

This one is best viewed on the Astrobin link below to see a more detailed view. (click on small square image, then on Astrobin click on the image again to get a full screen view)

125, 45 second RGB images at gain 54
60, 90 second H-Alpha images at gain 111


RASA 11
ZWO ASI183MM Pro
ZWO ASI183MC Pro
EQ6-R Pro
ZWO ASI290mm Mini Guide Scope


HorseHead-Final-Small by Colo CJ, on Flickr



Forum: Post Your Photos! 02-15-2020, 04:56 PM  
Nature Bodes Nebula and the Cigar Galaxy
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 5
Views: 393
It was finally clear last night, so I shot a pair of galaxies.

M81 (Bodes Nebula) is 12 Million light years away and spans around 90,000 light years across.

M82 (the Cigar Galaxy) is 12 Million light years away. It is a Starburst galaxy and makes stars 10X faster than our galaxy. The bright core is exploding with Hydrogen gas (the red areas in the center).

I decided to see how my mono camera with filter wheel works with the RASA 11. I was wondering if the large filter wheel would affect the image too much or not.

It looks like it will work fine with the filter wheel and also with my normal filters. So I won't have to buy the expensive 2" "fast" filters for this scope. Some of the stars are very slightly out of round, but I think I can fix that with making a mask to sit in front of the filter wheel.

Anyway, here is the photo. This is an integration of:

Lum: 200, 20 second images
Red: 48, 45 second images
Green: 48, 45 second images
Blue: 48, 45 second images
H-Alpha: 40, 90 second images

Celestron RASA 11
ZWO ASI183MM Pro
EQ6-R Pro
ZWO ASI290MM MIni Guide Camera



M81-RASA-Mono-Small by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-30-2020, 08:02 PM  
Nature Orion - Going Deep
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 6
Views: 456
Thanks! Yeah, imaging at f2 is going to be a game changer in how "deep" I will be able to image in a night of imaging. I just don't have the patience for 30+ hour images like many astrophotographers do. I can now get what would take a week of good imaging in a single night.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-29-2020, 06:59 PM  
Nature Orion - Going Deep
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 6
Views: 456
I recently upgraded one of my imaging scopes to a RASA 11, an 11" Rowe Ackerman Schmidt Astrograph. This is an 11" f2.2 scope, which is 10 times faster than the scope it replaces.

Last night I shot between clouds and got 83 minutes on the Great Orion Nebula. I am extremely happy with how deep I got in such short a time. My other scope would have taken 14 hours to get the same image!

I can't wait for some clear skies to see what this setup can really do.

I used 20 second exposures for this image, which was much too long since the integrated image was extremely bright, which made it hard to tame down in post. I think 10 second exposures would have been fine.

This was 250, 20 second exposures

RASA 11
ZWO ASI183MC Pro
EQ6-R Pro
ZWO ASI290MM Mini Guide Camera

Orion-RASA-11-83-Minutes-small by Colo CJ, on Flickr

Orion-RASA-11-83-Minutes-small by Colo CJ, on Flickr


And here is the scope inside my dome in the backyard.

New RASA 11 by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-11-2020, 01:53 PM  
Nature First Image from My Observatory - The Rosette Nebula
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 10
Views: 469
Here is a build thread: Starting In on Buiding a Dome! - Observatories - Cloudy Nights


And a few photos.

First Night in the Dome by Colo CJ, on Flickr

DSCF2085-1 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

DSCF2095-5 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

DSCF2097-1 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

DSCF2101-1 by Colo CJ, on Flickr

Light Weight Imaging Rig by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-11-2020, 01:06 PM  
Nature First Image from My Observatory - The Rosette Nebula
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 10
Views: 469
I completed (so far anyway, these could always use more data), my first image from my new observatory!

It sure is nice to sit inside and image, especially in the biting winter winds. I started this image a few days ago, on a night that had 70+ m.p.h. gusts. In fact, just up the road at Carter Lake, they recorded a couple of gusts up over 100 m.p.h.!

No problem in my dome though. The wind didn't get inside at all and I was able to image 5 minute exposures with the stars staying nice and round. I am just a little pleased with my dome :D.

Anyway, last night I was able to capture a little SII data on the Rosetta nebula to go with the Ha and OIII data I had before.

I only got 10 images at 300 seconds of SII before clouds rolled in, but I wanted to see how it all looked together. I will definitely be getting more data as this image is still too grainy.

The first is in the "Hubble Palette" where the Sulfur II is red, the Hydrogen Alpha is green and the Oxygen II is blue. The second is in HSO Palette, where the Hydrogen is red, the Sulfur is green and the Oxygen is blue.

Rosetta-SHO-1-Small by Colo CJ, on Flickr

HSO-2-small by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Post Your Photos! 12-31-2019, 06:17 PM  
Nature Orion Widefield with the Pentax K1
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 5
Views: 425
My telescope mount is being replaced right now, but last night was the first clear night in a month.

Not wanting to waste such a nice night, I put a 300mm Soviet lens on my Pentax K1 and used the tiny Skywatcher AZ GTI mount to shoot a widefield of Orion.

It was pretty fun going back to basics. This is what I got with 116, 45 second images in Bortle 6-7 skies at 1600 iso. You can almost make out the dust in the region, though I think my skies are just too light polluted to really bring out the dust at these short exposures.

Orion-Widefield-87-mins by Colo CJ, on Flickr
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 12-13-2019, 05:26 PM  
Dreamscape
Posted By Colorado CJ
Replies: 12
Views: 341
Taken at Emerald Lake, Colorado on an extremely foggy morning.

Shot with a Pentax 645D and Pentax "A" 35mm F3.5 lens.
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