Friday, October 14, 2016

Venus Shines at -3.8 Magnitude

Plenty of planets in the night sky right now. I missed the Jupiter/Mercury sunrise the other day,  but I did catch an extremely bright Venus setting over the roof of my neighbors' house at -3.8 magnitude. By far the brightest planet in the night sky, Venus is often mistaken for airplanes or other flying objects. It's rare that I go outside just to get a photo of a planet by itself, without something more interesting or rare to capture - like a conjunction or interesting alignment. But on October 11, Venus was shining along the rooftop and I think the interesting foreground made it really stand out.

Foreground composition is something I've been working on in my photos overall, so this was a good chance to practice. The roofline isn't very interesting, but there's more going on than just a planet by itself in an empty sky. In hindsight I should have increased the f-number to get the chimney in focus. I always think back to this depth of field test I did when I first got my Canon T5i camera.

venus setting
Venus setting, single frame with Canon T5i, ISO 400, 110mm, f/4.5, 1.6 sec
Following my 'trying to get things in the foreground' theme, this photo of Mars in Sagittarius didn't turn out as interesting as I hoped with a few leaves floating between Mars and Nunki mag +2.1. I'll need to work on it, maybe when there aren't any leaves on the trees I can get some interesting foreground compositions.

mars in sagittarius
Mars in Sagittarius single frame with Canon T5i, ISO 400, 110mm, f/4.5, 1.6 sec

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