Archive for April, 2015

Two planets with two clusters – April 11, 2015

Posted in ASTRO on April 17, 2015 by maxpho

These days two beautiful gatherings are taking place up in the sky after sunset.

Venus is passing by the Pleiades (Messier 45) above the western horizon, while Jupiter, high in the sky, is also passing by another open star cluster, M44.

The following shots were acquired at an elevation of 1000meters, near Sinaia, on a night with good transparency, using three instruments (a 50mm Sigma Macro lens, a 100mm Canon Macro lens and a TS APO65mm F/6.5 Refractor). The camera was the Canon 550D at ISO 800 and 1600, with exposures of 60 to 200seconds on a NEQ6 equatorial mount.

The first shots are of planet Venus close to M45.

First, the 50mm view:

venus and m45 50mmThe 100mm view, showing some of the Pleiades blue reflection nebula:

venus and m45 100mmAnd the 420mm two-shots mosaic:

Venus and M45 420mmAnd now for the Jupiter-M44 gathering…

The 50mm view:

jupiter and m44 50mmAnd the 100mm view:

jupiter and m44 100mmNice coincidence having the two brightest planets in the sky passing by two of the brightest open star clusters in the same time-frame…


Looking in the eyes of a…

Posted in Comana, Supermacrofotografie on April 9, 2015 by maxpho

…jumping spider.

This female jumping spider of the genus Aelurillus was found in the Comana Woods in early April.

The following shots were acquired in the same manner as the ones from the previous post, in which the male of this species was photographed.

First, a “wide” shot:

salticid 2And a more detailed view:

salticid 1Also, a higher magnification view, using more optics in the setup. Only a grayscale view this time, since the chromatic aberrations of the 2x teleconverter used were quite annoying.



Some details from the insect world – March 22, 2015

Posted in Comana, Supermacrofotografie on April 2, 2015 by maxpho

Almost two weeks ago, on a short trip to the Comana Woods to see how Nature is waking up after the long winter, I’ve found some of the first invertebrates of the year.

Among them, a small jumping spider and a bee-fly.

I’ve spent a lot of time photographing this two small beings. The first one, the spider, was a little less cooperative due to the fact that it was very much alive at the time of the shot, and moving all-around.

I’ve used for both subjects the old super-macrophotography setup, the Canon 550D and the SMC Pentax-M inverted objective. The light used was from a macro-ring flash, not the best choice for artistic shots, but very efficient for high-resolution images showing small details on insect bodies.

First, the spider. Notice the reflection of the macro-ring light in the frontal eyes.


And the bee-fly (a fly that mimics bees) of the species Bombylius major, found already dead on the ground. First shot presents the head and most of it’s proboscis:

fly head

A detailed view of it’s right eye (large image!):

fly eye

And another of it’s wing:

fly wing

Spring is here now, so I’m very sure that many more shots like these (or better) will appear on this blog, since a lot of possible subjects are now emerging from their winter cocoons/shelters.