Mon. 08.03.20 – Hello, August. Funny seeing you here in this weird year.
I feel that I am caught in a spiral of interiority. Not the downward, sinking spiral of lethargic depression, but another type of spiral – one that takes me increasingly inward where I have to fight myself to exit out into the world be it in life or to post in the digital space.
After local Covid-19 lockdown eased, I found myself so accustomed to the months of inside, that I had to battle myself to walk farther than what I could walk in an hour, to go farther afield, and to enter into any space that was not the grocery story or the park.
It wasn’t out of fear, either, it was if there was a barrier inside of me that said no, don’t go. No, don’t go any further. It was odd. Very odd, especially given that I travel through life with itchy feet and rarely stay very long anywhere.
Then came Comet NEOWISE last month. I so wanted to be out in the true dark skies of the deserts, but I couldn’t. I wasn’t. And it didn’t happen.
Instead, I had to fight to get photos of the comet through city light pollution and low lying clouds. One night, I leaned out of the window of the apartment to take a few photos when some clouds cleared. Another night, I went to an area that had a clear north view and set up a tripod with my camera.
I got a few pretty decent photos over a course of two hours while waiting for the low lying clouds to clear off the horizon and away from the comet. Most of my comet photos are fuzzy or hazy from the layers of clouds. I do have a few clear photos, but not enough to stack in Photoshop or another expensive astro stacking app to get a Very Clear Comet Photo™ – as is the standard post-processing procedure of any self-respecting astro-photographer.
I have never been good at the post-processing part of the photo game. I have written here numerous times that I much prefer to shoot and then add metadata in Lightroom, catalogue, and export. Taking the time to really push and pull the RAW image in Lightroom or Photoshop is more an exercise of fighting myself than it is an act of creation.
Thus, here is my paltry addition to the Comet NEOWISE photos. When I find the ability inside of myself to push myself to spend a few hours being very detailed, I will pull together the photos I did take (over 300 in two hours) and process them properly and then try to stack them. When I do, I will post the resulting amazing Properly Stacked Very Clear Astrophoto™ here. I promise.
In the meantime, enjoy the above hazy offering from the 11pm hour of July 17, 2020, taken by me, Ms. Jen, with her Nikon D850 and a 300mm lens.