Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Astronomical Events Coming in March 2012

To get the best possible results with my astrophotography, I try to plan ahead to shoot as many astronomical events as I can. Here are some of the opportunities you'll have in the next month:

March 3/4: Mars at Opposition.  Mars will be as close as it gets to the earth, and will rise in the evening as the sun sets.
March 5: Mercury may be visible shortly after the sun sets through March 12, but on March 5 it reaches it maximum distance from the sun.
March 7: The nearly-full moon will rise just before sunset. Mars will rise right behind the moon in the evening sky.
March 8: Full moon.
March 9: The nearly-full moon will set just after sunrise.
March 10 - 20: Venus and Jupiter Conjunction
March 12: Arguably the best day of the Venus - Jupiter conjunction, as Jupiter will be just above Venus.
March 21: Thin crescent moon rises shortly before sunrise.
March 22: New Moon. March 21-24 will be good nights for star trail photography!
March 24: Thin crescent moon sets shortly before sunset.
March 24-25: Conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the crescent moon.

I'll be out shooting with 25-30 of my photographer friends in Anza Borrego State Park and Death Valley National Park in the March 2-10 timeframe, and soon I'll be announcing photowalks for April, May and June.  The best place to catch my announcements will be on Google+:

Friday, February 03, 2012

Shoot Wildflowers in the California Desert?

Anza Borrego State Park, California
How would you like to join me for a photowalk in March... capturing images of wildflowers, narrow, winding slot canyons, eroded badlands, cracked earth on a dry lakebed, a palm oasis or two, and more? We'll practice landscape photography, macro photography, and night photography including star trails and light painting.

No commitment necessary yet, I'm just checking for interest so I can get a sense of group size to finalize logistics. I'd propose starting in Anza Borrego for a weekend, and you can see 64 sample photos in the album above. The trip can also be easily extended to the Salton Sea area if some participants want a more comprehensive expedition. If there's sufficient interest, I'll announce more details in the next few working days.