Monday, September 5, 2011

Kitt Peak Movies - Final Version!?

With the long weekend, I had time to go through the time-lapse sequences taken at Kitt Peak last June, and this last week.  Let me tell you - there's nothing more fun than going through each frame of the nearly 750 shots and adjust levels and contrast!  But the results are worth it - the fine details in the Milky Way and Observatory domes really punch through.  I'm sure the photo professionals that occasionally read this missive will tell me the way I should have done it - actually, I'm looking forward to any constructive criticism, so let me have it!

First up is the sequence from last June - a 6-hour sequence from early twilight till after the crescent moon rose just before 2am.  I've since replaced the unstretched video first posted (and replaced it with this link), so if you play the video from the old post, you won't see the difference...  What really stands out is the abundance of satellites that were so much harder to see in the early version.  But the dust clouds and dark lanes of our galaxy make it amazing to me.  If your bandwidth allows, be sure to watch it full screen and bump up the quality to HD!

And then we have the 4 hour sequence taken last weekend from the peak of Kitt Peak.  The blog post documented the hassle of carrying the needed equipment up the very steep route, but again, the result I think is pretty amazing.  While I had the option of saving both of these in wide-screen formats, it cuts out some of the top and bottom, so chose to leave the camera aspect ratio - particularly on this sequence, as lots of mountaintop details would have been cut out.  As above, be sure to watch it full screen in HD if your bandwidth allows...

The question to pose to the photo pros is how to stretch each individual frame, and yet, if a bright light appears in the frame, how to keep it from affecting the global stretching of the Milky Way details...  Perhaps I'll get to do all the frames again eventually, but enjoy them for now!


Anonymous said...

great image sequence

Jim O'Connor said...

Dean, these are really striking. The depth of the Milky Way detail just pulls the eye in. Thanks for the care you put into these. Sends a message that there is a certain permanence in the Universe despite the local changes. I envy your gift!