an intro to astrophotography

As a little girl, I’ve always been fascinated by the stars and moon. My nose pointed up at the night sky soon became my nose in books- reading about and memorizing planets and constellations.

Flash forward a few years and I’m sitting in a college Astronomy class, wide-eyed at the plethora of information being presented before me. I fell in love. My professor, Dr. Mike D. Reynolds happens to be just as passionate as myself, if not more. I formed an immediate appreciation of his passion and took it upon myself to email him some of my Lunar photographs. He instantaneously responded, discussing how much he admired my work- even sent the photographs to the President of the college.

After much thought, my Professor decided to launch an Astrophotography class for the following semester- and here I am. Once a week we come together with an army of DSLR cameras, tripods and telescopes. Us nerdy Astro-folk find ourselves getting chills by the views that we witness and are fortunate enough to photograph.

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Waxing Crescent Moon. Taken with Celestron telescope; ISO 400, 1/400

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Prior to this class, I used a telephoto lens (300 mm) to photograph the moon. However, I have recently discovered that you can literally mount a telescope onto a DSLR camera to counteract as the lens. This allows for crazy details and incredible deep space photographs.

While this is just the beginning, I am quite proud of the photographs that I’ve achieved. I hope to do another update by the end of this course to showcase further work.

 

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The Orion Nebula. Taken with Celestron telescope; ISO 1600, 15″

 

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Captured movement of the International Space Station. ISO 100, f/4, 30″
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Long exposure taken from my backyard. ISO 2500, f/5, 13″
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Daytime lunar photograph. ISO 400, f/9, 1/1000
an intro to astrophotography

photo diary | Thanksgiving in Mexico

It boggles my mind how, even after fourteen cruises, the beauty of it never ceases to amaze me. From the warm glow of the morning sunrise peeking over the horizon, to the white caps of the salty waves crashing into the distance. There’s something so incredibly calming about every detail of the ocean. I have no words for how thankful I am to live the beautiful life that I do.

Processed with VSCO with g3 presetA photograph of my mother and I mesmerized by the sunrise. Taken by my wonderful Dad.

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photo diary | Thanksgiving in Mexico

photo diary | farewell fall (+another visit to VA)

Well, another fall season has come and gone. It was radiant, alluring and inspiring as always. Despite Florida’s measly seasonal changes, I took it upon myself to book a flight to Virginia. While visiting my brother there, we made it a point to journey back to Shenandoah National Park. Leaving the house at 3 a.m., we were able to catch the sun rise up and over the mountain peaks. These pictures don’t share a justice of how beautiful it was.

Anyway, here is a collection of photographs I’ve put together- all taken from the fall season.

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photo diary | farewell fall (+another visit to VA)

photo diary | adventures in nyc

Prior to this trip, I sat down on my bed with a pen in one hand and my journal in the other. I wanted this trip to be unique- an adventure. I wanted to see and experience New York like I never have before. So, I did some research. I jotted down events and locations that caught my eye, and made a tiny checkbox next to each one. It was my mission to check off every single box.

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DUMBO, Brooklyn; this was my very first time visiting this part of town and let me tell you- I was utterly and completely in love. It was an artistic community filled with gorgeous buildings and lovely coffee shops. If I could pack up my things and move there tomorrow, I most definitely would.

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Here is a photograph of me in a state of complete happiness, complimented by the ever-so-glorious Manhattan skyline. The photo is a bit overexposed and the shadows on my face are weird, but my smile is so genuine that I just fall in love with this photograph every time.

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Turtleneck gal (me) in a subway station

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Another first: visiting Chelsea! If you ever find yourself in this part of the city, check out The High Line. (It actually runs through multiple parts of town: Lower West Side, Meatpacking District, etc). Anyway, The High Line is an abandoned railway that was eventually repurposed into an elevated public park. It’s filled with so many lovely plants and flowers and you get to walk through and above the city. HOW AMAZING IS THAT

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Washington Square Park; finally got a chance to walk under the Washington Square Arc and take in the gorgeous scenery of this park. (didn’t intend to make that rhyme)

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Lastly, I took a ride on the top of an incredibly touristy sightseeing bus. Whether you’ve lived in NYC or not, I highly recommend spending the money to take this tour. My parents and I learned so many interesting facts about the city, like how the Oreo was invented in Chelsea. On top of that, I got amazing photographs of the city that wouldn’t be achievable from walking around on the streets.

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Overall, I managed to complete my checklist and experience one of the most incredibly unique trips to New York I’ve taken thus far. This city never fails to inspire me and keep me coming back for more. You have my heart, New York.

photo diary | adventures in nyc

SC → VA

DSC_0005DSC_0022DSC_0026DSC_0065Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

dsc_0083dsc_0097dsc_0102Luray Caverns, Virginia 

Filled with stallagmites and stalactites, these underground caverns were a true work of art. At about 200 feet into the earth, the air that filled my lungs was a cool 60 degrees, setting a true cave-like tone. I’m still completely blown away by the magnificent creations that lie below the earths surface. 

dsc_0076DSC_0147dsc_0138DSC_0172Shenandoah National Park

This was my first time at a National Park and I can’t even begin to describe how alive I felt. Between the vast horizons, fresh air and lack of civilization, I can definitely say I was high on life. I was surrounded by mountains and tree tops. Butterflies played around my hair as the sun kissed my skin. This experience allowed me to feel renewed. It allowed me to reconnect with myself and become one with the earth. If you’ve never been to a National Park before, I would highly recommend it. 

SC → VA

hello 19!

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With my birthday being the first day of August, the day always seems to pop up abruptly and surprise me. However, that didn’t stop my family from planning a weeks worth of fun and adventures.

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It started on the 31st of July with a lovely dinner party at my house. Some of my closest friends came over to eat, laugh and make memories. We didn’t take many pictures, because we were all too busy living in the moment, but I did manage to find this gem. It truly captures how full of joy I was that night. I think those are the best types of photographs- ones that capture rare moments and raw emotions. They speak for themselves.

I took the whole week off from work to relax and find my inner zen. We all deserve to find a peace of mind and make time for yourself, so I considered this a little birthday present to myself. It felt nice having time to focus on me again, doing the things that I love and the things I never get a chance to do.

Processed with VSCO with g3 presetThe next thing on the birthday week list was traveling to Orlando, FL! We stayed in a hotel that was a walk away from Disney Springs (AKA the newest part of Downtown Disney). I must say, Disney really outdid themselves. I’ve always loved the atmosphere of Downtown Disney, but this new portion carries you away to another world. Sometimes I questioned if I was still in Florida.

The next day we had an early start and headed to Discovery Cove! We were greeted at the entrance by a friendly sloth. I was honestly freaking out because how often do you get to pet a sloth??Image-1.jpgWe all geared up in our wet suits and set off for a day of adventures. We snorkeled with fish, sharks and stingrays and we relaxed in lazy rivers. It was absolute bliss.

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Overall, I had a lovely birthday. It was filled with so many surprises, from trying new things to spending time with the people I love dearly. Heres to 19!

hello 19!

photo diary | gloomy afternoons

While it is quite rare for me to have the afternoon to myself these days, I found myself alone at home feeling inspired by the grey clouds that surrounded me. It was as if the soft mist in the sky was whispering to me, telling me to take advantage of the resources within my home. I read, I painted, I snuggled up with my cat; sometimes all it takes is bad weather to remind yourself of the things you love to do.

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photo diary | gloomy afternoons

photo diary | NYC (& a video)

With little sleep the night before, our flight left at 7 a.m. sharp and Joshua and I could not contain out excitement. Not only were we looking forward to our first flight together, but simply the fact that we would be spending the next few days in New York City.

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When we arrived, my uncle took us to two local parks in the Bronx. The weather was gloomy, making the trees and plants pop with color and life. The bridge pictured in the second photograph is the Throgs Neck Bridge.

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The next day we ventured into the heart of the city: Manhattan. The car ride alone had Joshua and I jumping out of our seats. His head was practically glued to the window in complete awe of the buildings and life that surrounded us.

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This photograph shows my Aunt and Uncle taking in the peaceful atmosphere created by the 9/11 Memorial. Despite living nearby, this was their first time stepping foot into the area since the time of the attacks. You could see the appreciation and remembrance in their eyes, as I’m sure they felt it in their hearts.

Views from the One World Trade Center: both daytime and night.

The next morning we had breakfast at the Crosstown Diner. It was quite rainy that day so we stayed inside relaxing- until we heard a little tune cruising down the street. MISTER SOFTEE! We don’t have Mister Softee ice cream trucks in Florida, so Joshua and I hopped on that, bare feet and all.

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Before being dropped off at LaGuardia airport on our final day, we decided to take in some breathtaking final views. My uncle took us to spots in the Bronx with the BEST views of the city skyline. An unforgettable trip followed by an unforgettable view.

photo diary | NYC (& a video)