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Glinting satellite
Glinting satellite

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Late Night (Basic Editing III)
Camera: Canon EOS-20D
Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
Location: Berkeley, CA
Date: May 1, 2005
Aperture: f/5
ISO: 400
Shutter: 10 sec
Galleries: Sky, Black and White
Date Uploaded: May 2, 2005

This photograph is of the phenomenon known as an Iridium flare. Basically, a flash of light occurs when one of the large flat antennas on an Iridium satellite briefly catches the Sun (even if it has already set for the observer). For more information, and to find out when such flares occur, go to //www.heavens-above.com/iridiumhelp.asp

I used a tripod, of course. I was worried that the flare would be obscured by the clouds, but fortunately it was particularly bright. Admittedly, this photo may not be especially interesting without realizing what it is a picture of, so I imagine it will probably not score well. Oh well.

Processing: Camera Raw, crop (~1/3 of frame), smart blur (to reduce noise), unsharp mask, resize

Place: 166 out of 334
Avg (all users): 5.1615
Avg (commenters): 6.3000
Avg (participants): 5.0876
Avg (non-participants): 5.2083
Views since voting: 713
Views during voting: 492
Votes: 353
Comments: 12
Favorites: 0

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05/11/2005 02:47:36 AM
Thanks for the comments! It honestly did not occur to me at the time that people would think of a meteor or a comet. Silly me! It was a 10-second exposure on a Canon EOS 20D, with a wide enough angle that the stars did not begin to streak. The high level of apparent grain, despite an original ISO of 400, was due to some drastic curves to bring out the relatively dark clouds; I was limited by the dynamic range because I was trying not to blow out the highlights of the Iridium flare. Thus, the effective ISO was probably more like 3200.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
05/09/2005 05:13:14 PM
Very interesting nice job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/05/2005 11:08:48 PM
Very cool. Too bad so much grain. 400ISO? 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/05/2005 08:10:12 PM
Very hard to capture this kind of shot! I'm not sure if it's just the clouds or something with the camera, but there are portions of the photo which look grainy. Other than that, nice job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/05/2005 05:23:40 PM
This is really interesting. Can't wait for the explanation. I expected some blue from teh stars. No star streak. Good luck.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/05/2005 05:06:06 PM
Wow!!! Is that a Comet??? Great Capture
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/05/2005 12:05:39 AM
There seems to be a regularity of the noise in the clouds leaving streaking lines (was this taken, by chance, with a 20D?). I'm partial to astronomy, however, so this gets significant personal bonus points from me for that.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/04/2005 08:00:53 PM
What a catch. Cool shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/04/2005 04:03:05 PM
Very cool! Your stars look beautiful. Mine always look like little noise speckles on my picture, but yours look exactly like they are supposed to. Love that shooting star.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/04/2005 06:07:19 AM
Kewl....a Shoosting Star!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/04/2005 02:57:32 AM
I'll be curious to see how long this exposure was.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/04/2005 12:55:10 AM
This woulda been good in the minimalization one too
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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