Astrophotography Oberstdorf - Imaging the Witch's Broom Nebula

This article is about Astrophotography in Oberstdorf. Last year I put all my equipment into the car and drove to Lake Garda. Unfortunately, in contrast to the forecast I had lots of clouds and no chance to take a good astro-picture. Last weekend I decided to give it another try and took all my equipment to Oberstdorf - a small village at the foot of the German Alps. Beside hiking I think this place is well suited for astrophotography.

I found a good place not far from the center of Oberstdorf, with free view to Polaris and almost no traffic:

GPS coordinates: 47°24'17.5"N 10°17'28.9"E

(Oh, and btw. a good Italian restaurant is also not too far: Ai Quattro Canti...)

Compared to Böblingen the light pollution in Oberstdorf is much less critical. I was even able to see the Milky Way from my observation point. The picture on the left I took this evening with my Fujifilm X-T1 camera (f/2.8, 15s, ISO2000). The image was saved as RAW and post-processed with rawtherapee. For this image the dark-frame subtraction was enabled. Unfortunately there is still some noise in the image.... :/

Anyhow, due to the good conditions I decided to give the Witch's broom nebula another try.

Continue reading →

Imaging vdB126 - a reflection nebula - from Böblingen / Germany

vdB 126 is a reflection nebula in constellation Vulpecula. I like the many stars in this region! In this clear night I was able to get 8 good IR frames before the moon rose. For stacking I used DeepSkyStacker 3.3.2 with Kappa-Sigma Clipping. The picture is also available in full resolution here. Finally, I decided to put it into my My Top Astro-Pics gallery.

Date2015/07/08
LocationBöblingen / Germany
ObjectvdB126 (Reflection nebula)
CameraAtik383L+
Guidingyes, QHY5-II Mono via OAG
Telescope8
Barlow lensnone
MountEQ6 Syntrek
Cooling-15°C
Luminance8x, 600s, bin: 1x1
Red7x, 150s, bin: 2x2
Green7x, 150s, bin: 2x2
Blue7x, 150s, bin: 2x2
Dark10x
Flat10x
Total exposure~2h12min.



Last updated: May 30, 2019 at 13:38 pm

Day and Night on La Palma - The highlights from my last La Palma holiday

On my last La Palma holiday I did lots of experiments with my X-T1 camera. This time I was especially looking into time-lapsing. The result is "Day and Night on La Palma" - a 5 minute video about this beautiful island. To me, La Palma is the perfect place for doing this kind of videos. In this short video I want to show the highlights of my last holiday. Lots of stars, clouds and sunsets... 🙂 In order to make this video I visited many different places of the island. Some of them were Roque de Los Muchachos, Mirador del Jable, Mirador del Time and Pico Birigoyo. The music title "Worlds" has been composed by Jacob Tyler. I found it on www.soundcloud.com. I hope you enjoy the video 🙂



For those who are interested in technical details: Most of the time-lapse recordings have been taken with the Fujifilm X-T1. My self-made 12V power adaptor was sometimes quite helpful. On the camera everything was set to manual (despite a few recordings with aperture priority).

The whole time-lapse post-processing I did on Linux (parts of this tutorial I found very useful). First, I developed the RAW images from the camera using the open source tool rawtherapee. In order to reduce flickering I used this deflickering script developed by Vangelis Tasoulas to reduce the flickering. In case the recorded time-lapse was too short, I used the free open source tool slowmoVideo (developed by Simon A. Eugster) to interpolate additional frames. Finally, I used kdenlive for creating and cutting the videos. Previously I used openshot but at this point in time kdenlive seems to be more stable.

One remark regarding the Fujifilm X-T1 and time-lapse recording: Sometimes I had problems with the X-T1 when the time between the frames was too short (< 3s). It introduced random delays of up to several seconds so that the images taken were not recorded at the same interval. This resulted in videos which did not play smooth. Increasing the time between the frames resolved this problem. Probably the camera did not finish writing the previous image to the SD card. After some research I found that this is probably a fragmentation problem of the SD card. Using high quality SD cards and formatting the card prior to its usage should help in the future.

Last updated: July 31, 2016 at 15:32 pm


Milkyway time-lapse with Vixen Polarie & Fujifilm X-T1

This article is about creating a time-lapse with the Vixen Polarie and a Fujifilm X-T1 camera. Tonight I did a first experiment with the Vixen Polarie. I did not know this device before. It was rent to me by a friend on La Palma. Basically it is a kind of motorized mini-mount for the camera. One the one and can track the night sky (compensate the earth rotation) for longtime exposures. This just needs a good alignment to Polaris. On the other hand one can just mount the camera in order to do time lapse recordings.

I decided for the second option and tried to make my first time lapse with the Vixen Polarie and my Fujifilm X-T1 of the milky way. Below is the result. I am quite pleased with the smooth movement from left to right. Probably something similar could also be achieved by using a good video cut software. However, doing it this way I always have the full resolution available and the post processing is simpler.


Last updated: June 25, 2016 at 14:10 pm