Well, owl be damned! Whoo would have thought a snowy owl would be perched atop a drugstore in downtown D.C.? Luckily, Philip Yabut was there to capture this photo of the beautiful bird. The snowy owls are heading farther south than normal this year. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is tracking the owls on the website eBird. You can see where they have been seen this year, and in previous “irruption” years. What a hoot!
When you think of astrophotography, you probably think of mind-blowing Hubble images, but you don’t need a billion dollar space telescope to image the night sky. In fact, most hobby photographers have all they need already in their bag, or can cheaply rent from a local camera shop. And right now you have a unique opportunity to get started. Comet ISON has been visible with the naked eye just before dawn for the last few days, and may get even brighter before it reaches perihelion, its closest point to the sun as it swings around, on November 28. If ISON manages to survive its close encounter, you might get a second chance to catch it in camera over Thanksgiving weekend.
Or try your hand at night sky photography almost anytime with the moon, which was full on Sunday night and will start to reveal its shadowy craters as it wanes for the next couple weeks. To get you started on your first night sky shoot, we asked some practiced local photographers, Phil Yabut, Brett Davis, Brian Mosley, Pablo Benavente, and Exposed’s Sanjay Suchak for their advice.
Exposed: What do you like to photograph in the night sky?
We weren’t at all surprised when we started seeing some excellent fireworks shots appear in our Flickr pool last night. The pick of the bunch though was this one from the industrious philliefan99. He eschews the more predictable straight-on skyline perspective anchored by the Monument or other distinctive memorial edifice, instead framing his almost apocalyptic-looking shot to establish the relationship between the intense fireworks and the awestruck spectators. (EXIF.)