Sunday 28 January 2018

No Moon At All

Despite there being no Moon, the Sun had
almost caught up with me in this shot from
early on Thursday morning
  This selection of constellations were captured over a couple of days during the past week.  The first set from the evening of Monday 22nd January, and the second from the pre-dawn of Thursday 25th.
  As I mentioned in the last post, these were taken with the support of my (free!) tripod, so any blurry, shaky stars are their own fault, not mine!
  I also endeavoured to have some order in which I took the pictures to make it easier to remember which area of the sky I'd already photographed, and to work out which constellations were where when it came to labelling the damn things once I'd got home.  Starting with Camera pointing North East (ish) at the horizon, I turned sunwise (even though the sun was not present) through the compass points taking photos every so often until I was back at the starting point.  Then I pointed Camera up from the horizon by 60° and did the same thing, finally ending with one or two shots pointing directly upwards.
  Here are the results - And remember to click to embigulate:

19:00-19:20 Monday, 22nd January

This photo (and the next one) have been cut off at the bottom rather than the top, as lower halves were mostly black sea and ground - I didn't angle Camera up high enough.
I do especially like this one, though, because the head of Hydra is poking up from the sea just like a real sea monster.

I labelled the somewhat insignificant 40 Eridani as this is the home system of Star Trek's Vulcans.

Friday 26 January 2018

Waiting For A Star To Fall

  Well, North Norfolk has enjoyed a few instances of cloudless skies over the past week or so, so I took advantage of the breaks in the weather and took some more photos of the night sky as I threatened to do in the last star-themed post.
  They didn't come out very well, though.  And almost all of them featured that strumpet, Cassiopeia!  I put this down to the aforementioned strumpet being a prominent constellation in the sky at this time of year (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway).  That they didn't come out well is because of the cold and wind.  The cold made me impatient - I was just randomly positioning Camera and taking a photo, and the wind made me a bit wobbly (as did the cold).
  Anyway, below are some of my trials and experiments - Remember to click to embigulate:

  Above is a star-labelled photo from 3rd January.  As you can see, it includes stars from the constellations Perseus, Andromeda, Triangulum, and the Pleiades Cluster from Taurus.  I don't really like it as the constellations aren't immediately obvious.

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Crusty Old Groynes... With Knobs On!

"Caw!  Welcome to the beach.  Let's begin the search for an encrusted groyne and ancient knobs, shall we?"

"This one looks promising."

"Nearly there."

Sunday 21 January 2018

All of a Flutter

  The temperature has taken a dive since the gale force winds of last week had blown all the insulating clouds away, so it's been a bit nippy here.  In fact, as I sit and type this, a few pathetic snowflakes are falling outside.  Silly sods - It's not quite cold enough here on the coast for all that malarkey.  Although, I gather the rest of the country could tell a different story...
  Anyway, the cold is partly why I spent almost all day yesterday, and most of today indoors mooching around.  I did nip out for a beach walk a little earlier to get some fresh air, but I was only gone for about an hour - And, yes, I did take Camera, so I shall be sharing those photos in an upcoming post.  But first, this one:

  As ordered Inspired by The Very Mistress, may I present Beaky and Friends.  Well, perhaps not "friends" because he doesn't have any.  He spent most of his time chasing off sparrows and robins that had the audacity to land on the paysho in his vicinity - probably because he thought they'd eat all the morsels dropped from the bird feeders above...

  Take a deep breath as there're loads of photos - I was too indecisive to whittle them down to a manageable amount.  I would say sorry, but that'd be a lie!
  First up are the aerobatic house sparrows.  Here goes:

Saturday 20 January 2018

In Space, No One Can Hear You Peep*

* C L O N K *

 "LẌ?  What was that noise?"
  LẌ ignored his myrmidon and hoped that the noise wasn't caused by the Peeps escaping from their cardboard prison
 "Und haven't we already passed that globular cluster?"
 "Have we?" [worried]
 "I'm positive."  Mago peered out of the porthole at the spherical group of old red stars.  "Where are we?"
 "I don't know?  Aren't you looking at the map?"
 "What?!  Nein.  I thought you were flying this thing?"
 "Damn it, Mago!  I'm the Official Infomaniac Pillow Fluffer and Personal IT Consultant to Mistress MJ, not an interstellar navigator!"

Saturday 13 January 2018

More than a Glimpse of Groynes with Lashings of Splashing (and a Passed On Porpoise)

  No stars today, and probably none for several days (or weeks) to come, due to the lingering murk.  Still, it didn't stop me popping out for some fresh air.
  As usual, I found myself on the beach wandering east towards the End-of-the-Line.  And for one poor coastal denizen, it really was the end of the line...

"slippery, wet, white foam spraying all over the place" - thank you, Eros.

Someone left a bit of groyne in this gaping orifice...

Thursday 11 January 2018

The Stars Are Coming Out Tonight*

  I said I was "going to map out the constellations and try to get Camera to take longer exposure photographs", and I did!  Well, I managed to do half of it.  Kind of...
  While I couldn't find any way to take a longer-than-30-seconds exposure photo, I did start mapping out the constellations.  And bugger me it's difficult!  I had to brighten the photos even more (and mess around with the contrast, which left the stars surrounded by rectangular pixellated halos), and pore through books, star charts, and the interwebs to make sure I'd got the right stars in the right place.  And even now I'm not sure that I have.  
  Oh, and I also found out that the two non-Orion photos in the previous post are upside down (depending on where you stand and which way you're facing...).

  Anyway, the following are photos I took on 6th January - the last clear night here (it's been overcast, misty, and down right murky ever since).   

The photo on the left is the original,  unadulterated 30 sec exposure shot; the one on the right is after I'd buggered around with the brightness and contrast sliders on Computron.

  Here's Orion over the scary house on the cliff again.  The glow isn't from the scary house though, no, it's from a bloody Nightship stop!  Somehow, I was unaware that Overstrand was serviced by the Nightship.  I didn't think the village entertained enough of the usual sort who'd use such a method of transportation?  Although, it would explain some of the raucousness that goes on outside my bedroom window some nights...

Monday 8 January 2018

There's A Firey Star Hidden Out There Somewhere*

  Guess what?!  I found the "starry night" setting on Camera!
Prepare yourselves to be inundated with night sky photos in 2018!
Don't panic though, there'll still be beach walk photos.
  The following three photos are the best of my first, rather wobbly, attempts.  They're not exactly as taken, though.  Once I'd trapped then in Computron, I moved the brightness slider thingy up to max to make the constellations really pop!  Those are the actual stars' colours, though - I didn't mess around with them.

This is the constellation Cassiopeia, just right of centre (the W on its side). Left of centre is part of Andromeda, and I believe that's the Pleiades cluster on the far centre left.
It was taken with a 15 second exposure.

A drunken Orion leaning in the east.  The glow is coming from the scary old house on the cliff, and that appears to be the silhouette of a slumbering Triffid in front of it...

Cassiopeia and Andromeda again, this time taken with a 30 second exposure
(as was Orion, above)

* Post title from "Star", Erasure's 1990 single from their 1989 album Wild!

Saturday 6 January 2018

It's A Faaaake! Not The Art Of Star Trek - Unfinished Business

My current TREK BBS avatar
(not Svjolweir)
  Despite The Very Mistress's "Suggestions for 2018: Less Star Trek" (from the comments of The Year of the Lunatic Coven Awards), this, only my third post of 2018, is, in fact, Star Trek related.
  Yes, it's the first of this year's Not The Art Of Star Trek posts which are just dumping grounds for my monthly art challenge "efforts" over at THE TREK BBS.  And this challenge - December 2017's - was set by me because my Original Character, Svjolweir Ti Meerdoy, won the November challenge!


As my only idea for an Art Challenge - "Design a mentioned but not seen Star Trek alien" - was kind of covered with the entries from November's challenge (including my own), I set to scrabbling through the various art threads here, the themes of the previous challenges, and my note/sketchbook for inspiration. And I found it!

The December Challenge is: Complete a Star Trek themed piece of art work that you've started but not finished.

My note/sketchbook is full of unrealised designs, and I know some of you will have unfinished work from previous challenges judging by some of the comments. Or, if you are one of those people that always finish what you start (your self discipline and time management make me sick!), perhaps you had some other ideas that you abandoned in favour of your finished art?
This is the ideal opportunity to finish something that's been tickling the back of your mind, or full on bugging you, before the end of the year. You can enter 2018 with a clear head - fresh for new challenges!

Conditions: You can only finish something that you have not worked on for a month or more. So, if you had an idea for November's challenge, but didn't get around to finishing it, you can't complete it for this challenge. But, any previous months/years are fair game.
And your final entry should include the original piece of work as it appeared when it was abandoned, languishing in unfinished purgatory, lost amongst the pressing weight of ideas new...

As always, you have until the end of the month - 31st December - to complete your Unfinished Business! Good luck!

Tuesday 2 January 2018

2017's Last Gasp

  Because I didn't have time to post these before the New Year...

Boxing Day:

You should all know the Vos Gorgeous by now...

... but the Highland Knight is a relative newcomer.

Monday 1 January 2018

2018: Starting As We Mean To Go On

 Firstly: Happy New Year everyone!

  Right.  Now that that's out of the way, secondly: For 2018 we were going to completely change this blog - new content for a fresh start.  Out with the old, and in with the new!
 However, coming up with new ideas, new themes, new everything just felt like far too much effort, so we switched on the autopilot and let it churn out the same old stuff as always.  As the following photos demonstrate.
Besides, some of you seem to like it judging by the comments in the previous post.
And if you don't and were just being polite, ha!  Another year of the same old beach photos and ropey old Star Trek art work is already in the pipeline!
  Here we go:

With sunrise scheduled for 08:08, we got up relatively early and meandered along the High Street to the Coast Road slipway in the hopes of getting a few snaps

As we were a little early, and the sun was rising over the land rather than the sea, we made our way to Tower Lane in Sidestrand for the best view.  Here's the End-of-the-Line as seen from space the cliff top

Ah.  The first glimpse of daybreak over Trimingham