Chain The Maiden

I had never seen the Andromeda galaxy with my own eyes before, despite knowing vaguely where it was. “Somewhere in one of the legs of Pegasus, which itself is that great big square,” was about what I knew. But I’d never gotten clear skies and dark skies and a view of Pegasus andandand all at the same time before. On Wednesday night at Kiptopeke, I walked out into a big field just to look up and see what was up there.

It was staring me right in the face. In fact, I saw the galaxy before I saw the Great Square. I ran (well, hobbled, I’m a crippled old man, y’know) back to the campsite and grabbed the camera and the tripod. I tried a few shots with the 500mm Sigma lens just for fun, though I knew at f/6.3 there’d be no way I could leave the shutter open long enough to catch enough light without getting motion blur from the rotation of the earth. It was a fun experiment anyway.

After a minute I put the 50mm lens back on. My 50 is an f/1.2 prime lens, and I cranked it wide open. This is a 4 second exposure at ISO 2000. I’m not a terribly experienced astrophotographer, and with all I have backlogged now, I just don’t really have time to try image stacking or anything to clean up the shot. So there’s some noise in it, and a bit of blur from the wind jiggling the camera a bit, I think, but I’m pretty happy with what I got.

If it’s not immediately obvious, the galaxy is the smudge above and to the right of the center of the featured image. Below is a pretty severe crop.


Andromeda Cropped


It’s pretty freaking cool what you can see when you look up from your phone/tablet/laptop. It was extremely pleasant to get a chance to do that for a few days this past week. I really need to unplug more often.



To repeat the disclaimer, this is a project about re-discovery. It’s about remembering who I am, what I’m about, what I love and what I do not. Fair warning, this project will be posted here rather than at my SFW site because there will be nudity from time to time. Some of it will be of me, some not, some artistic and pretty to look at, some just raw.

I don’t intend to think of something every day and then shoot it, though I may do that sometimes, too. But sometimes I will just shoot, and then find something about myself in the frames and post about that thing, whatever it is.

All my #365SelfDiscovery posts will be filed here.