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Canaries Astro Photography

mcrtchly
Posted 08/01/2020 - 12:28 Link
Last year I posted a link to our video of night sky timelapse on the Canary Islands (link) but I didn't psot any of the still photos on the forum. So here are a few of my favorites and read my partner's Sharron, blog for more photos and details of our trip. link

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The Roques de Garcia in Teide National Park, Tenerife. These rocky needles, particularly the huge crocked finger of lava called the Roque Cinchado, look incredible silhouetted against the Milky Way. A trail, which we took during our first day, meanders right around the base of the rocks and takes around two hours. We then returned at dusk to photograph the heavens from the spots we had pre-selected with the aid of a night sky phone-app. We found that an LED video-lamp came in particularly handy for illuminating the rocky features.

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Next to the visitor centre in the park is a small Catholic church which has the distinction of being the highest place of Christian worship in Spain: La Ermita de Nuestra Señora de las Nieves (The Hermitage of Our Lady of the Snows). Carefully illuminated, it makes a strong foreground subject for a night shot, as the Milky Way blazes overhead.

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The Minas de San José (St Joseph’s Mines) on Tenerife, an exposed, vast volcanic sandpit of buff-coloured pumice from which giant fins of lava loom, truly resembles a lunar landscape. Using a fish-eye lens enabled us to capture the complete arch of the Milky Way.

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El Zapitito de la Reina (The Queen’s Slipper) in Teide National Park, a rectangular–shaped natural arch leaning against the towering buttress-like crater walls bounding the flat expanse of the Llano de Ucana, is much less visited and makes a fabulous subject for astrophotography. Midway through the night the Milky Way soars above the arch, and a prominent butte in the background adds extra drama.

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The island of La Palma hosts some of the most important astronomical telescopes in the world. All are located on the rim the volcanic crater as altitudes of over 2,000m and above clouds. La Palma is also a starlight reserve and light pollution is limited making it one of the best places for observe the night sky. Here the Setting sun illuminates one of the telescopes.

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A path that heads upwards towards the crater rim can be followed for several kilometres towards the Roque de los Muchachos. Numerous north-facing spots along the way are ideal locations for capturing the full arch of the Milky Way framed over the gaping void. But in the dark, the path offers some real heart-stopping, squeaky bum moments, as it passes dangerously close to some very friable cliff edges!

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Shooting stars blaze across the jet-black sky like fireworks across the Plough as it swung down across the sky towards the dome of the Isaac Newton Telescope, just as a mere crescent of the moon rose on the eastern horizon to gently illuminate the observatory.

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The MAGIC (gamma ray) telescopes which look other worldly as their gleaming mirrors reflect the inverted layers of colour and light made by the sky, cloud and earth. At night, the stars twinkle in them like Swarovski crystals.

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The Infinity Monument was erected in 1985 by the highly regarded artist, César Manrique, to symbolise the union of the Earth and the Cosmos, and commemorates the inauguration of the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory. We had lots of fun at this spot painting with light and trying to align the tip of one of the metal prongs of the monument with Polaris so we could capture a whirling circle of timelapse star-trails.
LennyBloke
Posted 08/01/2020 - 12:46 Link
The blog is a really interesting read, accompanied by some superb photography - I'd recommend anyone to spend a few minutes to take a look.

Thanks Martin for sharing
LennyBloke
jvs
Posted 08/01/2020 - 16:34 Link
LennyBloke wrote:
The blog is a really interesting read, accompanied by some superb photography - I'd recommend anyone to spend a few minutes to take a look.

Thanks Martin for sharing

Totally agree. The photography is in a league of its own. I have daytime photos of the Roques de Garcia which I was pretty pleased with at the time, but the night-time ones are truly fabulous.
John
alfpics
Posted 08/01/2020 - 17:57 Link
Stunning photos Martin - and a very interesting blog to go with it - well worth reading. As above, thanks for sharing!
Andy
Posted 08/01/2020 - 20:07 Link
Great stuff Martin... truly stunning shots... and gt to read the commentary that goes with it...

Best
K10D
Posted 09/01/2020 - 20:39 Link
Awesome.

Best regards
Inspiration is rarer than a plate glass camera.....
Sry
Posted 09/01/2020 - 21:27 Link
Impressive images, even if I'm not really one for milky way shots. The one I really like is the Plough (la Grande Ourse, in french) on the Newton observatory - great balance in the composition (thanks to the single star on the left carrying enough heft to even things out), fab lighting and colours, and perfect meeting of the constellation and the observatory. Lovely.
pschlute
Posted 12/01/2020 - 10:13 Link
Very impressive indeed, I cannot pick a favourite.
davidwozhere
Posted 13/01/2020 - 01:40 Link
Quite magnificent. And the narrative ties it all together very well. Thank you for taking the trouble with it.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

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