Busy week. Last weekend we had some clear skies and moon rising after 3:30 am, so I went out to get some more Milky Way shots.

I did things a little different than my last Milky Way shooting trip and got better results. The weird light pollution that was super bright last time was gone! These are probably the best source images of the Milky Way that I’ve taken to date. I need to got out again when it’s a little higher in the sky.

This weekend I went out again and planned to do some Milky Way shooting, but got fogged out. The main reason for the trip was to get star trails and the SpaceX CRS-17 launch. But...

Fog and a very high dew point deposited tons of water on my lens with a quickness. I took some preventative measures, which left the lens warm to the touch, but it wasn’t enough. A full-on lens warmer wouldn’t have worked either. It was that bad. By the time the launch happened, my lens had been cover in water for more than an hour (which I didn’t know at the time).

When I got home and looked at the images of the launch sequence, this is what I had.

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But I ran all 200 frames through my normal stacking and editing process and things started looking useable. Very useable.

I went all in and pulled some editing magic out of my butt. Somehow, after several editing sessions to fine-tune the process, and then doing it all over from scratch each time, I ended up with a more than useable picture.

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Had the lens not been foggy and covered in water drops, the rocket trail would have gone on and on and on. But I’m more than happy with what I ended up with. And since the landing was only 12 miles off-shore, I got a great view of the reentry burn, even from 130 miles away.

Finally, on Saturday night was the opening of a gallery show with once of my launch and star trail pictures in it. It was the SpaceX Crew Dragon launch from March. I had it printed on aluminum (12x18 inches). It looks amazing.

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The crowd at the opening was friggin’ huge! Totally bonkers. I borrowed these photos posted to the Facebook event page. It was crazy. My wife was there for 20 minutes before I could find her.

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Crazy. Hopefully my piece will sell. I’ve had a pretty good track record recently with launch pictures. Finger’s crossed... gotta feed the D500 fund.

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That’s all for now. I’ve got some cool stuff coming up that I’ll tell y’all about soon.