ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY by Joseph Cali


"Scorpius & Rho"

Faced with a beautiful dark sky near Yass but feeling very tired from a poor nights sleep the night before what do you do?  Not wanting to set up a tracking mount, I decided to try the Pentax Astrotrace function to take some shots from a fixed tripod.  Astrotrace uses the camera GPS to tell the camera where it is pointing and where it is geographically located.  The camera processor then uses small movements of the image stabilizer, to shift the sensor to minimize the effects of the Earths rotation visible in the sky.  No system can rotate the image around the celestial poles.  It simply minimizes movement across the whole frame.  In the above image, you can see some movement at the lower right corner of the frame but the rest of the image is not bad. The lens is a 1970's built Pentax M 50mm f1.7 that gives pretty sharp images from f2.8 down. 

Camera:      Pentax K1
Lens:           Pentax M 50mm f1.7
ISO:            3200  f5.6
Exposure:   4 x 2 min exposures median stacked in Photoshop

"Forces of Nature"

Winner - 2016 Untracked DSLR section of Astronomical Association of Queensland annual astrophotography contest

Mt Bromo billows ash, Semeru expels lava illuminated steam, lightning strike, Milky Way overhead.
Volcanic ash, clouds of steam mixed with sulfur dioxide billow off Mt Bromo, Java, Indonesia passing behind Batok, the dormant volcano in the foreground. A trail of lights lead up to the crater rim of Mt Bromo as hundreds climb to watch sunrise from the rim. This photo was taken on the first day the climb was reopened (March 13, 2016) following the November 2015 eruption. Behind Batok and Mt Bromo in the distance is Semeru, the largest volcano and highest peak on Java. A small puff of ash and steam emanating from Semeru is illuminated by the glowing magma. In the far distance, a large thunderstorm is in progress, the anvil and lightning seen in this exposure. Framed by the milky way. At latitude -8, the south celestial pole sits just above and to the left of Semeru.

Pentax k5 ISO3200 7 x 20s exposures Pentax 12mmf4 ED lens.

The lightening, stars, and Mt Bromo were in one 30 s exposure, the puff of steam lit red by lava was taken 
4 mins later. The landscape was black in the 30s exposure so I added 7 images to get some detail on the land.

Camera : Pentax K5 DSLR ISO 3200
Pentax 12-24mm ED AL (IF) operating as 12mm

Sky, stars, Mt Bromo and lightning................30s @ f4 x1 sub
Red gaseous eruption Semeru.......................30s @ f4 x1 sub (taken 4 mins later)
Landscape around base of Bromo & Batok......30s @ f4 x7 subs (taken over a 10 min period)

"Moonrise On Golden Pond"

3rd place - 2016 Untracked DSLR section of Astronomical Association of Queensland annual astrophotography contest

Took this with the Moon just below the horizon (15mins before moonrise)
Pentax k5 DSLR  ISO3200 3 x 20s exposures Pentax 12mmf4 ED lens  ISO6400 4 x 15s stacked and aligned (sky)
landscape retained from just one of the four 15s exposure used for the landscape. Other three had landscape masked out.

"Glasshouse Rocks II"
Narooma N.S.W.

Pentax K1 ISO3200 93s exposure Pentax 18mm f3.5 lens