Les Gamble

Moved to Scotland from Dunedin, New Zealand in 1996. Currently undertaking Mechanical Engineering Degree at Inverness College. A new convert to astronomy, I started photographing night sky Autumn 2004. Kit: Pentax ME Super (circa 1982) + 3 lenses and Jessops tripod. Tasco Binoculars. Collie-cross named Jess. Next project: Build a Haig mount to enable longer exposures.

Aurora Borealis 7th November 2004
Aurora Borealis 7th November 2004

The Aurora was filling most of the sky from NW to the East. This photo looks almost directly overhead from our house on the outskirts of Inverness. This was the first Northern Lights display I have ever seen. Due to the excited/chaotic nature of the photo shoot I didn’t have time to document exposure times etc.
Pentax MESuper. 50mm f/1.7 Pentax lens. Kodak iso 200 film or was it Tesco iso 400? Err… Exposure time around 10-30 seconds. Tripod mounted camera perched on picnic table.
Double Rainbow, Isle of Harris
Double Rainbow, Isle of Harris

A chance shot I took while sheltering from one of the frequent downpours that were a feature of our "summer" holiday.
Secondary rainbows are nearly always broader and fainter than the primary rainbow and its colours are reversed so that the reds of the two bows are facing each other.

Photograph taken with Fuji Finepix S5500, 1/850 sec exposure, F.L 6mm (39mm Equiv') f/7.0, ISO 400. Doctored in Photoshop.
Earthshine from Rogie Falls
Earthshine from Rogie Falls

Earthshine as photographed from Rogie Falls, near Contin. This area is still blessed with quite dark skies, so the unlit portion of the moon was clearly visible. Half an hour later the view from our house on the outskirts of Inverness was rather sad; you had to strain to see any effect at all!

Earthshine is sunlight reflected off the earth and then bounced onto the portion of the moon still in shadow. Image captured using Fujifilm Finepix S5500, sec @ f3.1, ISO 400. Photoshop CS2 was then used to brighten, despeckle, de-noise, crop etc, etc.
Fogbow - 16 September 2006
Fogbow - 16 September 2006

Fogbow photographed on Saturday September 16th 7:40am.

Fogbows are formed in much the same way as rainbows. Visually Fogbows are almost white with faint reds on the outside and blues inside. A better explanation can be found at the link below.

This image is a mosaic of 5 separate frames, stuck together using Photoshop CS2. All frames were taken with Fujifilm Finepix S5500, 1/320s @ f/8, 400iso.Brightness & contrast also tweaked.
Iridium Flare from Culloden
Iridium Flare from Culloden

Photograph taken during one of the Society’s excellent observing nights at Culloden Moor (13/05/05). Due to on site chaos, which is becoming a feature of my astrophotography, I don’t have a any documentation for this shot. It was around 2315hrs and I think the flare was some where around the constellation of Cepheus.

Can anyone that was present at the star party help?
Photograph taken with tripod mounted Pentax ME Super, probably a 50mm f1.7 lens @ max aperture. Shutter held open for as long as the flare was visible.

Image scanned, then enlarged and cropped in Photoshop 6.
ISS over Inverness
ISS over Inverness

This photograph of the International Space Station was taken during one of the Society’s excellent observing nights at Culloden Moor (13/05/05). The Space station was visible for a good few minutes, travelling from South to East, quite low in the sky. As usual I didn’t document my exposure but it was taken with a tripod mounted Pentax ME Super, probably around 15 seconds @ max aperture. Foreground interest provided by someone’s trailer.
Noctilucent Clouds June 2006
Noctilucent Clouds June 2006

This display occurred mid June 2006 and was that impressive that I had to head straight up to Culloden Moor to capture it. The Society’s observatory is just to the left of the car (centre of frame) and the Battlefield visitors centre is on the far left.

Seven frames were stuck together in Photoshop CS2 to produce this image. Individual frames were matched by adjusting their brightness/contrast. The resulting mosaic was then tweaked using Photoshop’s shadow/highlight filter to try and even out the overexposed horizon and the darker overhead sky (even though it was around 2 am the sky was already getting quite bright)

All frames taken using Pentax ME Super, 28mm lens. 6 sec exposures @ f2.8. Fujichrome Sensia 400 slide film.
Orion and M42, M43 & NGC1977
Orion and M42, M43 & NGC1977

Orion photographed from Culloden Battlefield car park, 17th December 2004 2300hrs. There were a couple of inches of snow on the ground and the temperature had dropped well below freezing. I only managed to expose one film before the cold wore me down.
Tripod mounted Pentax ME-Super. 50mm f/1.7 Pentax lens. Tesco ISO 400. 15 seconds @ f1.7 Inset shows Orion Nebula and De Mairan's Nebula. Cropped in Photoshop 6.0 (Inset enlarged and sharpened2)
Sundogs June 2005
Sundogs June 2005

Sundogs are also known as "parhelia", the word Greek meaning "beside the Sun." Whose dogs are they? Perhaps the Norse sky-god Odin, who did have two hounds/wolves named Geri (Ravener) and Freki (Glutton).
This photo is the best effort from a full film worth I took one evening in late June. All of the frames were over exposed (despite feverish bracketing) and it's only been with the help of Photoshop that I have rescued two of them.

Photograph taken with hand held Pentax ME Super, 28mm f/2.8 lens @ smallest aperture, ISO 400 film. Print scanned then doctored in Photoshop (adjusted exposure, contrast & brightness, despeckled)

Our collie-cross Jess would like it to be known that she is in no way affiliated with Odin or any other Norse gods.
Sunpillar from Inverness
Sunpillar from Inverness

This photograph was taken from our house at Resaurie, Inverness looking North West. The sun was just setting behind Ord hill when we noticed this optical effect. Is it a sun pillar? It was quite pronounced for 4-5 minutes and made for a very nice sunset. Ben Wyvis is visible in the background, with the Moray Firth in the foreground. Photograph taken with hand held Pentax ME Super, metering for the sun. Image scanned then cropped in Photoshop 6.
Taurus and M45 Pleiades
Taurus and M45 Pleiades

Taurus and M45 Pleiades, again from Culloden Battlefield car park. 17th December 2004 around 2300hrs. Frozen snow, frost etc.
Tripod mounted Pentax ME-Super. 50mm f/1.7 Pentax lens. Tesco iso 400. 12 seconds @ f1.7 Image Cropped in Photoshop 6.0.
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JSL ObservatoryNext Observing Session

Solar Saturday
19th August
14:00-16:00

STATUS:CANCELLED showers and lots of cloud

Come and observe the Sun safely with our specialist solar telescope! All welcome.