Whatever Weds. The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

Copyright ©2020 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I was pretty excited to see the Great Conjunction as I’m sure most of you were too, so I hoped for clear skies to be able to photograph it. On the 16th of December the crescent moon, Jupiter, and Saturn were fairly close to each other and it was a clear sky so I photographed it from my patio. It was cloudy all day but cleared pretty well but the wispy contrails and remaining clouds made the sky a bit more interesting. Can you spy the ski runs at Heavenly Ski Resort? X marks the spot.

Crescent Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn over the Carson Spur.

It was clear on Monday the 21st so I went out with my long lens to get a closer look at the conjunction. I had to crop it in for it to be a good look even at 400mm, but I was able to see 3 of Jupiter’s Moons too. The 3 tiny dots are the Moons.

Jupiter, 3 Moons, and Saturn. The Great Conjunction of 2020

Saturn’s rings are not defined which is disappointing, but I saw the Great Conjunction! Did you look for it?

I wish all those celebrating Christmas a very Merry Christmas, and those who aren’t I wish you a very Joyous Week!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 and Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm| PS CC 22.1

more to come…

Partial Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Great Eclipse of August 2017 was 75% eclipsed where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I wasn’t able to travel to see Totality so photographed the Eclipse from my backyard.

I made an image every 10 minutes from just before it began until the very end. The images are unguided. In between images I moved my lens away from the sun so the sun wouldn’t be shining down my lens and possibly damage my sensor even though I had a genuine Solar Filter mounted to the lens.

This composite showing some of the most pronounced phases of the phenomenon is comprised of 7 frames. The left side is first contact, the middle peak eclipsed, and the last image on the right last contact or pretty close to it.

Partial Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| f/11| ISO 200| 1/500s – 1/320s| PS CC 2017

I’ve got my mind set on seeing the Solar Eclipse in 2024 in Totality, and will be making plans to view that early as that probably will be the last chance I get to see it live.

more to come…

 

WW 22/52: The Last Train Car to the Stars

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Last Train Car to the Stars

 

Nikon D810| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G | Hoodman Digital Film| 39 frames @ 30s  ea.|

PS CC 2017

more to come…

Pondering the Stars

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

It was so good to get out under the stars last (Saturday) night. Especially after being sick and cooped up for weeks.

My health, weather, and schedule all were in perfect alignment to meet a friend up in the mountains to view, and spend a few hours making images of the night sky.  Even though I went up into the nearby mountains I was unable to escape all Light Pollution. The orange, and bright white on the right of the image edge are city lights to the south.  I’d have to go much further inland to escape it entirely.

To my delight when I uploaded and looked through the images I discovered I captured a shooting star in this frame! Do you see it? It’s small up above the Milky Way in the centerish toward the left.

Pondering the Stars

This outing was just what I needed!

Single Frame| Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm @ 17mm| f3.5| 20s| ISO 3200| Tripod| Hoodman STEEL Ultra High Speed Digital Film| Developed in Photoshop CS6

More to come…

Update: My friend (Andy) finished an image of the Whirlpool Galaxy which he imaged last night while I was shooting stars, and the Milky Way. He posted it on his photo-sharing site. I hope you’re able to see it here.  He’s set up with a nice telescope, and GOTO system which gets him closer looks deeper into the Universe.

MM2:5 Watching the Total Lunar Eclipse over St. Ignatius Cathedral San Francisco, CA

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

MM2-5 Watching the Total Lunar Eclipse over St. Ignatius Cathedr

For this week’s Monochrome Madness 2:5 I thought I’d share one of the stills from the Total Lunar Eclipse on April 4, 2015.  This was taken shortly after the Partial Phase got started. The Moon is a bit blown out here, but my plan of operation was to stick to one lens, and the same camera settings all through the Eclipse then stack the images in post development. The Moon in the beginning would be blown out I knew, but later in the darker phase of the Eclipse the exposure would be correct.

To see what other photographer’s who are participating in Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness 2  weekly challenge have posted this week click here.

Nikon Df| AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8 @f8| 10 seconds| ISO 400

More to come…

A Bridge to the Stars

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Bridge to the StarsThis image of the Milky Way is one I made several weeks back while on a camping trip with friends in Stanislaus National Forest in Northeastern CA. USA.
While imaging the sky I saw several shooting stars, and hoped I’d capture some on film. I got lucky and got one in this frame. You see it streaking down in the upper left of the frame.
The Bootes Meteor Shower was happening on this night, but don’t think this is one of those. This is coming from the wrong direction.

It was a gorgeous night, and the sky was gorgeous filled with so many stars.

Nikon D700| AF-S 17-35mm @ f2.8| 20sec| ISO 5000| Manual Priority| Matrix Metering| Tripod

P52 29/52 Moon over San Jose, CA City Hall

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Moon over City Hall San Jose CaliforniaI met my friend Alex downtown last night to shoot the Moon over City Hall’s Rotunda. City Hall is comprised of the Tower where the Mayor has an office on the top floor, the plaza, and the Rotunda which has council rooms, meeting rooms and a large space for events. The space and rooms in the Rotunda can be rented out for events such as weddings.

The Rotunda reminds me of an Observatory very much like those at Lick Observatory that sit high atop Mt. Hamilton which overlooks San Jose from the East side in the Diablo Range. Lick Observatory was the first permanently occupied mountain top astronomical observatory. Constructed between 1886-1887. I don’t know if that reference is what the architect (Richard Meier) had in mind when he designed the Rotunda though. I can’t find that information.

This new City Hall complex opened to the public in Oct. 2005, replacing the former City Hall complex civic center located on North First Street, which was used from 1958 until 2005. From 1889 to 1958 the city hall was located in what is now Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San José.~Wiki-pedia

I shot the foreground then switched lenses then waited for the moon to rise above the mountains and buildings then I exposed for the Moon to make the second frame, finally in post development I blended the two frames together.

Nikon D700| Tripod
Frame 1- AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm @ 24mm
Frame 2- AF-D Nikkor 80-200mm @ 200mm