As I mentioned at yesterday’s club meeting, there is a comet moving across the sky this weekend. It is called “46P/Wirtanen” and is currently moving North through the constellation of Taurus, which is just to the right of the constellation of Orion. You should be able to see the comet by looking south around 10pm. The comet is supposed to be visible to the naked eye, but you need to look very carefully. It is larger than the size of the full Moon, and if you see it it will look like a faint, fuzzy blob. Any nearby street lights or thin cloud in the sky will spoil the view, so you will need to find somewhere dark. There are some dark spots along the coast at Longniddry Bents, or up Birsley Brae.
If it’s too faint for your eyes, a pair of binoculars will help (the larger the better). Better still, you could try photographing the comet! A long exposure on the digital camera will bring up more detail than you can see with your eyes. On a photograph you’ll notice the comet is green. There is a photograph of the comet displayed at http://www.spaceweather.com/, where they say:
This comet is an easy target for digital cameras with exposures as short as 10 to 30 seconds. Astrophotographer Juan Carlos Casado offers some advice to novices: “Use Raw file format, a fast lens (at least f/2.8) and ISO settings between 1600 and 3200. The exposure will depend on the focal length. I normally use the 500 rule–that is, exposure = 500 / focal length (mm). It also helps in areas with light pollution to use an antipollution filter. I am now using Optolong L-Pro clip filter which gives excellent color balance.
What the photographer doesn’t say is that you will need to set your camera to manual mode. Manually set the focus on infinity, mount the camera on a tripod, turn off vibration reduction (if your lens has it), set the camera to “M” mode and set the aperture and shutter speed manually. You can use a standard lens, rather than a telephoto, because the comet is quite large. Check out the Christmas tree photo at spaceweather.com.
You can find sky charts of the comet at http://www.cometwatch.co.uk/comet-46p-wirtanen/ and there is a live image of the sky showing where the comet is right now at https://theskylive.com/46p-tracker.
Best of luck!
The club has received the following message from Jane Renton, president of the Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association.
It is nearing that time of year again when MAMA stage their annual Revue in the Brunton theatre. Over the past few years we have been delighted to welcome members of Musselburgh Camera Club to take photos of our dress rehearsals and we would like to offer this opportunity again. We would hope this would provide members with an opportunity to practice their skills in a theatre setting where changing light levels may prove an interesting challenge. In return, we would be grateful if you could provide us with some images which we could use for publicity and to put on our website ,which is currently being developed. We would also acknowledge the camera club in our programme.
This years Revue dress rehearsal is on Wednesday, 16th of January 2019 usually starting around 7 -7:30pm.
If anyone is interested could they please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can confirm details nearer the time.
Members might be interested in a Scotland The Big Picture lecture called “Scotland: A Rewilding Journey”, which is coming to the Royal College of Physicians, Queen Street, Edinburgh at 7:30pm on Saturday, 24th November. Tickets cost £12.
Click here for details and to book tickets.
I am told the STBP photographers give good workshops, so the website is worth monitoring. Click here to see their image gallery.
The club has been made aware of the 2018 “Zero Footprints” charity competition, which is looking for entries on the theme of the environment, the climate and our impact on it. There is an entry fee of £5 to enter one image or £15 to enter up to 4 images in each of 3 categories. Click the following link for details:
The closing date is 15th August 2018, so there is hardly time to book a holiday to an exotic location to capture the kind of images they are looking for, but perhaps you already have something in your collection, or you can find something closer to home?
P.S. We successfully transferred the library exhibition from Prestonpans to Craigmillar this weekend. It’s looking good. Click here for the dates and locations if you would like to see it for yourself.
Members may be interested in two photography competitions which are open for entries at the moment. Click on the links below for more information:
Go Wild Scotland photo competition : Send in photographs captured on the “Sustrans” national cycle network. Closing date Monday, 18th June 2018.
Scottish Portrait Awards : The Scottish Portrait Awards are open to anyone born, living or studying in Scotland, and 16 years old by 1 October 2018. Entries close on 30 June 2018.
The following competition is not yet open, but watch this space:
Scottish Photography Awards : Scotland Photography Competition and Regional Photo Awards. To qualify for entry in this regional competition, any photos you wish to enter, must have been taken in Scotland.
The club has received a message from Doug Berndt of Edinburgh Photographic Society:
Edinburgh Photographic Society has arranged A Day With Fotospeed – the Photographic Paper and Ink specialists. This will be held on Sunday April 15th 2018 at Edinburgh Photographic Society, 68 Great King St, Edinburgh. (Parking is free all day on a Sunday in the streets around EPS, including in the marked Permit Zones).
The day will include talks from Vince Cater and Mark Littlejohn. Vince’s talks include discussion of Colour management and printer/paper profiling.
Click here for a details and an outline of the day’s programme.
If any MCC members are interested in joining the event, please email Doug at email@example.com. Places are limited and will be allocated strictly in the order requested.
To cover costs there is a charge of £20 per person. You can pay this directly to Doug, to Doug via another EPS member, or by Paypal (please ask Doug for details).
Tea and Coffee will be provided on a self-help basis in the kitchen. You should bring a packed-lunch for the day.
The club has just received the following message from Kit Millar of the Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association. Please contact Kit directly if you are interested.
I think I contacted you last year to ask if any members of the Musselburgh Camera Club would like to come along and take photographs of our Calamity Jane dress rehearsal on Wednesday 11th April from 7pm? MAMA have always loved the photos which the camera club have taken for us – and we always make sure and send them in to our press contacts so they can put them with their reviews!
I know that usually members just contact Jane Renton (who is also our president), however she is off on holidays soon so if you do have anyone interested, can you maybe ask them to send me an email? My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much – hopefully see some of your members soon!
Members may be interested to know that the National Museum of Scotland is hosting the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition again this year, open from 19th January until 29th April 2018. Click here for details. If you fancy mixing the exhibition with music and dancing, there is also a special event on 9th March 2018: Wild Night with Neu! Reekie!
On Saturday, 20th January 2018, Historic Scotland have a photographic workshop at the Engine Shed near Stirling. Click here for details. See their “what’s on page” for details of other future events in 2018, including battle re-enactments.
The Royal Photographic Society have an “International Images for Science” exhibition at the City Art Centre, Edinburgh on 31st March until 15th April 2018. Click here for details.
Wex Photographic (who took over Calumet) are organising some photographic events in Edinburgh during 2018. Click here for details.
I should also mentioned there are exhibitions and courses throughout the year at the Stills Gallery in Cockburn Street, Edinburgh.