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Moon Venus and Jupiter conjunction

Moon Venus and Jupiter conjunction.  © 2015 John Golden. All rights reserved

Moon Venus and Jupiter conjunction. © 2015 John Golden. All rights reserved

 

Property Value
Date Taken 2015-06-20 07:12 PM
Camera NIKON D3200
F-stop f/5.6
Exposure time 2.5 sec.
ISO speed ISO-800
Exposure bias 0 step
Focal length 55mm
Flash mode No flash
Mount Tripod

 

At last. Here is my image of the conjunction between the moon (the very bright object near the center), Venus (the bright star near the bottom) and Jupiter with two of it’s moons (the bright star top right, with one of it’s moons visible just below it and another fainter one just above it).

I took several photographs that evening, trying to get the perfect exposure of this unusual and special scene. Then after several exposures I decided that I would rather expose for Jupiter’s moons. Well, I knew that this would mean the planets and our moon would be severely over exposed I went ahead and took the shots anyway.

Also, I knew that trying to get shots in the can of Jupiter’s moons with a standard 18-55mm lens during dusk in the polluted Pretoria city sky while the moon was nearby and pretty bright would be a challenge… And that is exactly why I went ahead and did it. I loved the idea of the challenge.

I was happy with a few of my attempts I made and decided to process them. Naturally they required some post processing such as cropping of the original image to have the subjects stand out more, darkening the sky to create more contrast and a process to reduce the intensity of the light emitted by Jupiter, Venus and the Moon.

Even though I had taken images of the moon that were well exposed and look great on their own, I decided not to superimpose them into the photograph to replace the over exposed one because I felt that it would detract from the planes and Jupiter’s moons and the image would loose it’s charm, also, one would not be able to see the shaded half of the moon. This is the part of the moon that is not so intensely over exposed in this photograph. This part of the moon is not receiving light from the sun but is receiving sun light which is reflected from the the earth’s surface… Much as we receive moon light at night which is a reflection of the sun’s light to us.

You can see another image of the Moon and planetary conjunction as seen from Pretoria east on my John Golden Photography website.

Also go here to see my another photo which I took 20 days earlier of this same 2015 planetary and lunar conjunction.

Venus Jupiter and the Moon Conjunction

Venus Jupiter and the Moon.  © 2015 John Golden. All rights reserved

Venus Jupiter and the Moon. © 2015 John Golden. All rights reserved

 

Property Value
Date Taken 2015-07-01 06:43 PM
Camera NIKON D3200
F-stop f/5.6
Exposure time 1 sec.
ISO speed ISO-800
Exposure bias +1 step
Focal length 200mm
Flash mode No flash
Mount Tripod

 

Property Value
Date Taken 2015-07-01 07:38 PM
Camera NIKON D3200
F-stop f/8
Exposure time 1/1000 sec.
ISO speed ISO-100
Exposure bias +1 step
Focal length 200mm
Flash mode No flash
Mount Tripod

On July 1st 2015 there was a very unusual and spectacular view in the Pretoria night sky. A planetary conjunction.

Planetary conjunctions, sometimes called planetary alignments, are fairly common, but the one that took place on the evening of Wednesday 2015-07-01 Was pretty rare and not seen to often.

The 2 brightest planets, which are the third and fourth brightest objects in our skies – after the sun and moon, were in a spectacular conjunction. They were so close to each other that If you held the tip of your little finger out at arms length in front of you, between your eye and the 2 bright objects in the sky, they would be blocked from your view. Wow, I must admit that in my lifetime I have never had an opportunity to see that. Experiencing that was a humbling experience and just put so much into perspective for me again.

It was practically a full moon on the night so it was not an ideal night to be photographing stars or planets. However I knew that I could not let an opportunity like this slip by so I took up the challenge to get some photographs. Once I had captured a dozen or so photos I had a look at them on my PC then came to the conclusion that creating a composite photo would create great impact and help me to always retain the memory of my experience from that night.

  • Above is the result of that composite picture. It consists of a long exposure of Venus and Jupiter that were captured in a single image. You will notice one of Jupiter’s moons close to it, which was a bonus in this image. I was hoping to capture any of Jupiter’s moons, but did not expect to be successful because of the bright washed out sky due to the nearby full moon.
  • Inserted into this photo is an almost full moon which was a little too far away to include into the first photo. If I had done that the two planets would have formed tow small dots of light in the bottom left corner of the image and would not have been impressive at all. Also you will notice i had to shoot the moon at a very high shutter speed to preventing it from over exposing and washing out the black sky completely.

I have posted a version of this, and other photographs, on my John Golden Photography website.

Also go here to see my another photo which I took 20 days later of this same 2015 planetary and lunar conjunction.

My next post will be of a photograph I made of a near conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the moon on 2015-06-20 where these three heavenly bodies were close enough to each other for me to be able to capture them in a single image.

Avatar Girl

Avatar Girl. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

Avatar Girl. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

 

Property Value
Date Taken 2014-12-14 03:52 PM
Camera NIKON D3200
F-stop f/5
Exposure time 1/320 sec.
ISO speed ISO-100
Exposure bias +0.3 step
Focal length 55mm
Flash mode No flash
Mount Hand Held

At a birthday luncheon I asked a very attractive girl if she would mind me taking a photograph of her so that I could manipulate and distort her features to turn her face into an Avatar girl. I explained that her image would then appear on my Websites and Facebook pages. She was very willing for me to do so and here is the result of me making the photograph.

The original photograph was taken outdoors in a garden, in open shade, using natural light without any reflectors.

I decided not to go for the porcelain skin effect and intentionally keep some skin texture (and even added some of my own texture effects) to have the skin tone seem more authentic.

Not Triplets

Not Triplets. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

Not Triplets. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

 

Property Value
Date Taken 2014-08-14 04:28 PM
Camera Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
F-stop f/8
Exposure time 1/80 sec.
ISO speed ISO-100
Exposure bias 0 step
Focal length 49mm
Flash mode No flash, compulsory
Mount Tripod

No, no matter what you think, these guys are not triplets. These are three separate photos of one person that have been merged onto one.

I like the idea of merging different images into one, so I decided to do an experiment of such an image with myself as the subject.

I set up 2 garden chairs against a wall and took 3 photographs of myself. One on the left standing and looking at a position where I imagined would be when sitting on the right. Another sitting in the center with a glass of water and finally a third with me sitting on the right of frame looking at the standing guy.

Not only did I give the characters something to do with their hands, I also used body language and expressions to make it seem that these three guys are actively involved in a conversation at the moment that they were captured in a photograph. I intentionally took the photographs in a shaded area so that in post production I could worked with the mood of the light to create the effect that it might be late afternoon and that the light is starting to fade.

Unknown Flower

Unknown Flower. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

Unknown Flower. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

 

Property Value
Date Taken 2014-07-25 12:56 PM
Camera Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
F-stop f/4.5
Exposure time 1/40 sec.
ISO speed ISO-100
Exposure bias 0 step
Focal length 48mm
Flash mode No flash, compulsory
Mount Hand Held

I loved this lone flower on the bush and decided to create a softened dreamy look of it with all other colours desaturated in the image to ensure that the flower is the main focus.

Never Again

Never Again. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

Never Again. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

 

Property Value
Date Taken 2014-07-25 11:45 AM
Camera Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
F-stop f/4.5
Exposure time 1/1000 sec.
ISO speed ISO-200
Exposure bias 0 step
Focal length 35mm
Flash mode No flash, compulsory
Mount Hand Held

I had fun making this photograph. It is made up of a combination of four photographs that I had taken at different locations over a period of a year, between January 2014 and January 2015. Besides the last photograph of the base of the statue, none of them were originally taken with the intention to create a composite photo. The idea of creating a statue from a photo grabbed me recently so I pulled three photos together that I already had and decided to give it a go.

I had some photographs of a lands claim memorial in Pretoria, some photographs of my wife and parakeet and also a number of photos of a dear friend of ours on his apple farm in Elgen in the Western Cape. I went through them and chose photos that I felt could be incorporated with each other to create a unified picture.

I decided to turn my friend into stone and inserted my wife and parakeet as onlookers in the background. I also went for a reportage type feel to the image by using the hard lighting effect caused by the sun.

I love doing special effects and plan on doing several more with different effects.

Pretoria CBD 01

pretoria cbd 01. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

pretoria cbd 01. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

 

Property Value
Date Taken 2014-07-17 03:52 PM
Camera Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
F-stop f/5.6
Exposure time 1/800 sec.
ISO speed ISO-200
Exposure bias 0 step
Focal length 69mm
Flash mode No flash, compulsory
Mount Hand Held

I took this photograph of the Pretoria city skyline through the windscreen of my father’s car while we were driving back from Hartbeespoort dam. Don’t worry, I didn’t endanger anyone’s life… I was the passenger.

Unfortunately the sky was a dull murky grey and this scene didn’t look good at all. On a later occasion I took a photo of a cloudy sky and then inserted it into the city skyline photo in post. This looks much better than the original photograph.

VW Beetle

vw beetle. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

vw beetle. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

 

Property Value
Date Taken 2014-06-28 01:51 PM
Camera Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
F-stop f/8
Exposure time 1/125 sec.
ISO speed ISO-200
Exposure bias 0 step
Focal length 70mm
Flash mode No flash, compulsory
Mount Hand Held

My parents both owned a number of VW Beetles when I was a child. As a young adult I inherited my mom’s 1972 VW Fun Bug Beetle. So I have love for them and always point them out to friends or family when I see one.

I was a passenger in a car and happened to have my camera handy when we passed one on the road; so I managed to capture this photograph of it.

I’ve removed all colour besides red and orange from the photograph to help create a more captivating image than the original photograph. This car was very dirty and peppered with bird droppings. I have removed most of them and by removing the blue colours from the photo I have managed to create an image that is quite appealing.

Wrap-around Text Face 02

text-face_02. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

text-face_02. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

 

Property Value
Date Taken 2014-06-21 03:37 PM
Camera Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
F-stop f/5.6
Exposure time 1/40 sec.
ISO speed ISO-100
Exposure bias 0 step
Focal length 35mm
Flash mode No flash, compulsory
Mount Hand Held

I decided to experiment with wrapping text over the contours of a face in Photoshop… This is the result of reworking a photo that I posted in September this year. I decided to have his eyes and mouth stand out more by removing the text that was over them. I also brightened up the image to give an overall brighter and lighter image.

I love it that, depending upon the mood that I want to create, I can produce different versions version of the same image.

Hartbeespoort Dam wall Triumphal Arch

Hartbeespoort Dam wall Triumphal Arch. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved

Hartbeespoort Dam wall Triumphal Arch. © 2014 John Golden. All rights reserved


 

Property Value
Date Taken 2014-07-17 10:03 AM
Camera Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL
F-stop f/11
Exposure time 1/320 sec.
ISO speed ISO-200
Exposure bias 0 step
Focal length 35mm
Flash mode No flash, compulsory
Mount Hand Held

While standing on the Hartbeespoort Dam wall I took this photograph of the archway. It was quite tricky getting a photo without cars in it since this wall is a very busy roadway. I was fortunate to be able to get this one without any traffic. Besides straightening of the image and some retouching to create the grungy effect which I like, this photo is almost out of camera. However the sky was terribly bland and that resulted in a very boring image. For this reason I decided to replace the sky with this lovely one with it’s nice soft and puffy clouds. That has made the photo fare more interesting and lively.

This dam wall has a long and complicated history that dates back to 1895, however it was only completed in 1925. The Triumphal Arch built on the dam wall and over the road that traverses it was erected to provide structural mass to the wall’s water-retaining strength. The Latin inscriptions on the arch translated into English is: “I shall pour down rain on the thirsty land and showers on the dry ground”


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