Last week I had a wonderful opportunity come to fruition in that I scored a deal from a good friend on a gently used Tamron SP AF 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical wide angle lens. If you've followed my blog for any measure of time, you know that I simply 'make due' with what I have as my priorities are family first, gear last. You have probably also noticed my frustration over time for missing big scenes in only having a wide angle range that fits roughly 1/3rd of true wide angle capability. So despite limited recent photographic opportunity, I have made the point to familiarize myself with this significant upgrade over the past few days. Besides fitting scenes, the ease of image editing is a breath of fresh air. With my old setup which was packed with dirt, I would find myself having to correct or clone out numerous spots. I would also have to manually remove barrel effect so to have a straight horizon on every single picture. It was not unheard of to spend up to an hour working on a single scene and this just to make it appear "normal" as I try not to get into extremely heavy editing to the point of appearing artificial. Anyways, I don't know how in the world I managed to get by without decent glass since taking up DSLR photography and have shed bittersweet tears this week over the thousands of past images that will never get their due respect.
Macon Illinois from last weekend.
Friday was the first clear evening that I have had time to step out for an hour or so and with that, a few practice stacks were the order. There was of course considerable talk about meteors considering the Russian Impact Incident as well as close pass of Asteroid 2012 DA14 from within near earth orbit the same day. A heads up by a Facebook connection suggested the possibility of increased meteor activity as smaller fragments trailing the parent asteroid could be pulled into earth's gravitational field. The asteroid sped by from a south to north orientation earlier in the afternoon. This would place the radiant of any future debris as coming in from the south. Though my intent was to point north so to get a star trail radiant with Polaris centered, I was in perfect placement to observe not one but two long, slow, bright meteors to travel exactly from south to north. I did not image the first as it went while I was switching out batteries. The camera quit on the first stack attempt below (hence why it is so short) but I was fortunate to get the second. It is unknown as to whether these were directly associated with the asteroid flyby but the frequency of fireballs witnessed around the planet yesterday is highly suspect. We'll never know but for my first nocturnal outing with this piece, I am feeling a renewed sense of satisfaction that had been severely waning.
28 minute stack. The International Space Station is "technically" in there as it passed along the horizon at 11° but was dimmed out by the low cloud.
Quick shot south, lens flare is from the moon. Have yet to get a hood.
Time Lapse Example