We just spent four days in the French capital, and despite the really cold and not so sunny weather, we had a really good time. Here are a few pics from the trip straight out of my new FUJIFILM X100S camera (see last image in the bottom).
This evening the sky was finally completely clear, so I managed to take a few nice shots of the comet again. I made the zoom-in below by averaging 9 individual 1 second exposures (as I have no motorised equatorial mount to track the comet, I can not use longer exposure times with the focus set to 200 mm, because the sky turns too fast). It was barely visible with the naked eye.
The star positioned towards the top right from the comet is 51 Piscium, and the apparent distance of the two objects was 21.5′, or 2/3 of the apparent diameter of the Moon. And below is a more wide-angle look (aka, the full image at 200 mm a bit earlier during twilight).
I wanted to catch the comet again today, preferably with the Moon in the same picture, but the clouds were not very cooperative. The area around the position of the comet was covered, and only the Moon – situated higher up on the sky – was visible… So I took a picture of the Earthshine (the dark side of the Moon is being dimly lit by Earth, or to be more precise, it is illuminated by reflected sunlight from Earth) instead. Same setup and settings as yesterday, except for the 1.6 sec exposure time.
After a day of weather conditions more typical to Scandinavia than Belgium (a week ago it was 18°C and sunny, today it was snowstorm in -4°C almost all day long), the sky started clearing up from the Northwest just enough that I managed to catch the first bright comet of 2013 a few degrees above the horizon. I could not find it with the naked eye, but it was easy to see in my 10×50 binoculars. The thin crescent of the Moon was also visible for a few minutes before this picture was taken, but unluckily it had set by the time the comet appeared from behind the cloud layer.
Picture details: Canon EOS 7D + Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L IS USM lens @ 200mm, f/4, ISO800, 1s, crop showing half the full frame.
Less than 24 hours after arriving home from Austria, I already had to take the first train towards Bonn, as Elvire (ex-colleague from work) and Matthias (an astronomer himself too) asked me and Jonas to take pictures during their wedding. This way I finally managed to use my Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L IS USM lens, which I bought back in January… So Jonas took pictures with a wide angle lens, while I was responsible for the close-ups and portraits. This made things much easier, as we did not need to change lenses or work with two cameras which is common among professional wedding photographers. I am very happy with the results, and of course the freshly wed felt the same way :) A broader selection of my pictures can be seen on Flickr, while here is a sample of them. I really love this lens, it is a pleasure to work with it!