Conjunction of Venus And Jupiter – Part 2

The weather forecast for Kuala Lumpur tomorrow night, when the planets are supposed to be closest, don’t look too good. Plus, I wanted a picture when the planets are not merging or merged into a single blob as some predicted, so I shot some tonight just in case.

This is my first time looking and photographing a conjunction of planets, so I really don’t know. Tomorrow could be even better, weather permitting.

There is no need to try to get very close with a very long lens. Although bright, the planets are still small and far, even when using long tele lenses. You will need a telescope with tracking mount to get really close.

You don’t want a a picture of the pair by themselves, anyway. Find a local landmark to juxtapose, if you can. This gives the picture a geographical perspective or identity.

City skyscrapers are good but tricky as the surrounding roads are usually polluted with light from street lights. This can cause flaring and other unwanted effects.

To expose correctly for lighted buildings, you may end up underexposing the relatively less bright planetary bodies.

Finally, you don’t have to photograph the celestial event at all. Watch it live with your naked eyes, take in its beauty and store it to to your memory.

This was photographed with the Sony FE 70-200mm G OSS Lens in 2X CIZ mode.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f14, 4 sec.

Is Adobe Photoshop CC 2015’s New Dehaze Made For Us?

Adobe announced a major update to its Creative Cloud subscription service last night. Photoshop CC 2014 became Photoshop CC 2015, and included with it are several useful new features.

One of the new features that caught my attention was Dehaze. I downloaded the new version immediately to try out Dehaze. Well, not as immediate as I wanted; for the update process was a bit clunky and took a while.

You have to update the Creative Cloud Services first, Then download the big install of Photoshop CC 2015 (and Lightroom). Copy all your plugins to the new folder and download, reinstall the latest Camera Raw.

Yes it can get ugly; so here’s a quick and dirty demo for those who don’t have the patience, time or a fast internet connection. Haze can now be easily removed or reduced with a simple slider in the Camera Raw Filter. It can add haze too, if desired.

As you know, Malaysia has one of the worst haze occurrences thanks to a leaky neighbour. So the true test of the Dehaze slider, for me, is whether it can fix a picture fogged up by the transboundary haze or smog.

I ran a picture from the last bad haze day which that was captured in October 2014. The original picture was photographed in RAW and I opened it directly in Photoshop.

For a different comparison, I included another picture with organic haze or mountain mist photographed at the Genting Highlands resort.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/800 sec (city scene)
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f7.1, 1/100 sec (mountain scene)