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Nightfly

Sagittarius / Southern Ophiuchus Milky Way

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For deep sky observers and astrophotographers it simply is the stuff of dreams. In late April on an early morning imaging run I exposed the wonderful region of Sagittarius and southern Ophiuchus for what was my first good imaging session of the year. As many of you know, I still buck the trend of digital capture and prefer analog methods. I continue to produce wide-field images like this, perhaps as a reminder of how things were done in the glory days of film astrophotography (they truly were) when very few were doing serious work. Today there is an explosion in the population of astrophotographers, thanks to modern equipment.

I am pleased to share this image, captured the old fashioned way.

It was captured under the dark skies of my home in Maine, USA. An old Pentax 67 with a 165mm f/2.8 portrait lens set at f/4.8 and exposing Kodak Ektachrome 200 for 35 minutes using my Meade 2080 as the guiding platform. The Kodak transparency was push processed to gain effective speed and allow faint details to be rendered in brighter tones. The dynamic range of this film is phenomenal and proves that reciprocity failure, the cop out of many imagers to go digital, is a myth. To be fair, it is digital technology that allows this image to be processed to reveal just what it has stored in those thin layers of emulsion. When the film is gone, so are these images. They will be relegated to the ash heap of history.

I hope you enjoy the image, a glimpse of a time gone by and surviving by a thread, in my freezer right next to the frozen peas.

Sag-Oph2_1280_sharp_scnr_sat_yel_red_neat.jpg

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Amazing image, Nightfly! Almost makes me want to give up with my Canon 1100D.

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lovely picture, not many people working with film these days, well done

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Nice image again.

I still have some old emulsions in my deep freeze, remember Fujicolour Super HG400 & Scotch Chrome 400? Both were noted for thier sensitivty to Ha but I doubt if I'll ever use them now. Lurking in there is a roll of Kodak Tech Pan. In the garage is a vaccum pump and gas hypering chamber that were needed to make the Tech Pan usable.

Sorry, but giive me the instant gratification of digital- there's far less to go wrong these days!

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Beautiful shot.....I'm sure you're proud of that one, I gave up on film due to frustration with processers who could only make vacation prints. I'd never want to go back, but you seem to have it all together. Well done.

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Nice image again.

I still have some old emulsions in my deep freeze, remember Fujicolour Super HG400 & Scotch Chrome 400? Both were noted for thier sensitivty to Ha but I doubt if I'll ever use them now. Lurking in there is a roll of Kodak Tech Pan. In the garage is a vaccum pump and gas hypering chamber that were needed to make the Tech Pan usable.

Sorry, but giive me the instant gratification of digital- there's far less to go wrong these days!

Thank you. I've developed a good workflow and have no problem producing good work at will. The old days of getting a few usable images out of a roll are long gone for me. The only stumbling blocks I have are the same for any type of photography, weather, fireflies, mosquitoes!

You would be wise to go with digital if it is what it takes to produce many great images.

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Beautiful shot.....I'm sure you're proud of that one, I gave up on film due to frustration with processers who could only make vacation prints. I'd never want to go back, but you seem to have it all together. Well done.

Thank you. I use a professional processor service that knows my needs and I do my own preparations for printing. For professional results one should not use the local drug store or common retailer. It is too bad that those type of services are going away. If my developer goes out of business, I may have to look at changing over myself, or doing my own darkroom work.

Thanks again.

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The only stumbling blocks I have are the same for any type of photography, weather, fireflies, mosquitoes!

Fireflies! We don't get them in the UK- I imagine they could be a real nuisance though. We used to get glow-worms but I think Light Pollution has more or less finished them off. Haven't seen one for 20+ years.

Edited by laser_jock99

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Another brilliant image up to you usual high standard Jim - congratulations :)

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Glorious part of the sky and a great view taken - you are fortunate to see the area better placed in the sky than for us in the UK - around 52 deg. Must be something else from the southern skies...

andrew

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that is stunning. thanks for showing.

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No fireflies in the UK? I did not know that! They like to pass in front of my lens during exposures, and that is not cool. This is where I might be a fan of subframes! I know that my friends in the UK are experiencing very little true night skies and it will be a few weeks to get back into darkness. The nights here in New England last about three hours or so, but this is where there is some great late night observing of the gems of summer.

I wish everyone clear dark skies whenever possible.

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