This is another focus-stacked photomicromosaic, this time using 5-frames for the mosaic. This is Spirogyra in conjugation at a magnification of 115x.

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Bees are a super test of your macrophotography skills due to all the fine hairs.

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High-Speed Flash Photography

In these three HSF images you can see a water-filled glass with a soap bubble over the top – about to burst. Underneath the soap bubble there is a rising column of water from the first water drop, and the second water drop is seen to be colliding with the rising water column. Needless to say, there is endless timing trickery involved to get this shot.

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This is a focus-stacked photomicromosaic of a Dragonfly’s eye. What does that mouthful mean? Well at the magnification used (20x) the whole Dragonfly eye will not fit into the FOV of the Canon 5D MkIII on a research trinocular microscope. So in exactly the same way I need to create mosaics to get a BIG field of view (FOV) in astrophotography – I need to do the same with this large object in photomicroscopy. But there’s even more to creating this image. Because the object is so large, you cannot get the whole thing in sharp focus at just one focus setting. So you need to take what is called a focus-stacked image. To do this, you focus on the very bottom of the object and take a shot. You then move up a little and take another shot. You keep repeating this process until you get to the very top of the object. You then use a brilliant piece of software called Helicon Focus to combine all these individually focused images to create an image that appears to be in focus all the way down from the top to the very bottom. This makes it looks very much like an SEM (scanning electron microscope) image – but this approach has a HUGE advantage over an SEM image. Namely the Helicon Focus-produced image IS IN COLOUR.

Now as this image is a mosaic, you can see you have to focus-stack each of the individual images that go into forming the mosaic. It goes without saying that a focus-stacked photomicromosaic involves a LOT OF WORK in its preparation.

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This is a 60 Megapixel image of an Owl Butterfly (underside) taken with a Canon DSLR and a Canon 100mm macro lens. The image is a mosaic and comprises of 6 separate frames that are put together in Photoshop to create this single extremely high resolution image.

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High-Speed Photography

Here’s an example of just one of many high-speed images taken using my own designed and built high-speed Xenon flashguns.

This is an exposure time of just 10-microseconds (1/100,000th of a second) taken using the open-flash technique. A pair of eggs have been shot with an air rifle and the pellet can be seen frozen in time, towards the far left of the image. No eggs were wasted in the taking of this image, they were fed to the dogs who greatly enjoyed the unexpected snack.

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Purchase a High-Quality Print of Any Image You Can See on the New Forest Observatory Website

With the acquisition of the new HP T230 4-colour printer, I am once again able to offer prints of ANY image you see on the NFO site.

Print sizes available are A4, A3, A2 with a maximum of A1. Prints are on glossy photo-quality paper, in most cases HP paper.

To enquire about purchasing a print, click on “Leave a comment” that you see at the bottom of the image you require and leave your details. I will provide you with the cost of the image in the size(s) you request. Your comments will not be published (seen) by any visitors to the NFO.

Please note; images that took a long time to capture will attract a higher price than, for example, a single-star image that was captured in a single imaging session.

As I also carry out photomicroscopy, macrophotography and high-speed photography, in addition to the astrophotography you are familiar with – I will now start publishing some of this other work on the NFO site so that you may also be able to purchase these as well.

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Picture of the Week

This week we feature the Cone nebula region, a 3-frame (horizontal) mosaic taken with the Hyperstar III on the C11 with an M25C OSC CCD. On the left we have the Cone nebula, the central beautiful golden open cluster is Trumpler 5 (for some reason you don’t see many images of that beauty), and on the right we have reflection/dark nebula IC2169. There’s really a lot going on in this region and it includes an example of each type of nebulosity as well. It might well be worth taking another look at this area with the 200mm lenses/2600MC Pro CMOS cameras and Optolong L-Enhance filters with 20-minute subs and see what we end up with.

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Got Today’s EPOD

Got today’s EPOD with “Precious Wentletrap Shells”.

Thank you Jim for continuing to publish my work 🙂 

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Large Format Printing Returns to the New Forest Observatory

I have suffered deep-sky large-format printing withdrawal symptoms for far too long now, and gave in yesterday to purchase a new large-format printer. So yesterday I ordered up an HP T230 A1 printer with a ton of accessories from Graphic Design Supplies Ltd. (Horsham) and everything arrived the following day with absolutely no hiccups. Superb service and highly recommended.

So once again I am able to offer A1/A2/A3 or A4 size high-resolution prints of ANY image you want on the NFO website. If you would like to order an image then leave your details in the “Comment” section at the bottom of the image (I will not publish any order details) and I will get back to you with a price which will include p&P for the U.K.

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