The ISS passing over Port Elizabeth

The International Space Station came speeding over PE today from the south west and heading to the north east. Grabbed a few photos with the 10mm at f3.5 and ISO 200 with 40-ish second exposures.

The ISS appearing low on the south western horizon, initially showing up with a slightly red-tinted light.


As the station climbs higher into the sky, the foreshortening effect disappears and it appears to accelerate and leave a longer trail.

The last of the south western shots as the station passes out of range of the lens, at well over the zenith. To the right, a large meteor flamed over the city at the same time.

The last photo shows the ISS disappearing into the Earth’s shadow and fading from view as it passes through the constellation Lepus, flanked by Orion and Canis Major. The overbright moon lit the trees and buildings in all these shots.

Starscapes and light pollution

Been playing around with night sky shots lately, here’s a couple of wide-angles of the sky above my house. The light pollution is annoyingly obvious.

For the northerners amongst us, that’s an upside down Orion in the first picture. 10mm wide-angle lens set to f3.5, ISO 200 and 40 second exposure here.

Showing more to the south of my location now with some low level cloud drifting in slowly covering the band of the Milky Way.

As close to the Orion nebula as my 500mm Sigma can get me.

Rare ships visiting Port Elizabeth Harbour

Two ships from the Allseas undersea pipeline construction fleet docked in Port Elizabeth harbour for a couple of days. Our harbor rarely sees specialized ships like these and I took the opportunity to record the impressive vessels docked at the base of Africa.

The Audacia is the large pipelay ship with a 110m boom mounted on the bow and can deploy up to 1.5m diameter pipelines.

The Calamity Jane is a support ship for the Audacia and her sister ships that carries a trenching ROV that can bury a 1m pipe up to 2m deep in the ocean floor without making contact with the pipeline.

Wildlife at Addo Park

Three kudu males looking for females as the rutting season approaches, a pair of Egyptian geese and their goslings swimming and feeding on a waterhole at Gwarrie Dam in Addo and elephant browsing through the green bush near the Hapoor Dam.

“God” rays over Nelson Mandela Bay

Coming into work today saw the sun beaming through gaps in the rain clouds that covered the city and had to grab a couple of photos.

Pincushion flowers in bloom

A couple of shots of my mom’s favourite pincushion protea bush in full bloom. I’m not sure which of the many species this one is.

The intense colours are reminiscent of flames and wildfires, which is somewhat ironic since, like most fynbos, proteas need to be burned out every few years to clear the dead growth and trigger the seeds of the next generation.