I always get a kick out of the brilliance of the clouds of Venus, shining under their brighter sun, especially when otherwise dazzling Earth clouds rush through the field of view. This morning there was a bonus: the coal-dark Moon.
Shot with a Canon 50D and an Astro-Physics 5-inch F6 refractor from my backyard near Rutherford College, NC (1/4000s @ iso 200).
May 2010: I've learned some tricks to get smoother images from the 50D when significant stretching is required, as in this image. In this version, multiple frames of the Moon in the bright blue sky have been stacked for added contrast and detail. I've used the best single frame of Venus and clouds. The previous version used a stack of Venus images, too. The combined data had the effect of narrowing the crescent and making it appear artificially sharp and thin. In this fresh version, I've extracted the green channel, processed it by itself, then added color from a blurred rendition of the RGB data. Much smoother, much better color, and a better representation of the event than when originally posted last year. Photos ©David Cortner, 2010.
Dodging trees. Work in progress on a trailer for moving the outfit around casually. This works OK. The finished version — red, shorter legs bolted down closer to their feet, better 10-inch wheels, and holding an A-P Mach1 rather than the G11 shown here — works great!
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