Photos From December 13-18


It’s December, and in Alabama it’s still warm (well, when compared to more northern places). Here is a bunch of random, interesting images taken over the past few days.

Belt of Venus


This is the Belt of Venus (seen as a pink band). This is a 13 photo panorama, stitched in Hugin, and processed in Adobe Lightroom. South is on the right, facing East and West is on the left.

Red Tailed Hawk


This is a Red Tailed Hawk that has been flying around lately. Taken with the Sigma 170-500mm lens @500mm.

Moon and Earthshine Moon and Earthshine


The crescent moon, with a phenomenon known as earthshine. In the wider angle photo, notice the “tail” part of the constellation Scorpius. Both photos taken with the Sigma 170-500mm, first one @500mm the other @170mm.

Geminid Meteor


This is a meteor from the recent Geminid meteor shower. This one passed through Orion.



This is Blackie, the black Fox Squirrel that has lived in this area since ever since we lived here. (He’s got a nut in his mouth)



This is just an bird that I photographed today. Nice feather coloration. I have no clue what kind he is.


Thanks for looking at this odd assortment of photos!


6 thoughts on “Photos From December 13-18

  1. I have reviewed a number of photographs taken with this lens at the extreme extension (400 – 500 mm), and in many of the photographs, I notice a softness in critical areas (such as in the eyes of birds/animals). I realize that to get a sharper lens means spending lots more money, which I am not able to do. I shoot the Nikon D300s, and I need more reach than my Sigma 18-250mm can give me. Is there another extreme telephoto zoom lens better suited for sharp telephoto photographs, yet still within a price range that doesn’t have me using my first born as collateral? In a nutshell, is there any buyer’s regret for those who have purchased the Sigma 150-500mm lens, and if so, what would you have purchased had you only known?

    1. Yeah, it’s not the sharpest… as you noticed, a lot of them are soft for a few reasons. -1. On the D3100 (my camera) it’s a manual focus only lens (I’m not an expert at quick manual focus). If your camera does not have the AF screw for lenses without a motor, than it will not autofocus. 2. It’s an inexpensive, lower quality lens. Not that it can’t take sharp photos under the right circumstances. For example, the last bird shot was at 500mm, bright sunlight, at a smaller F/stop (not wide open). As it is, it’s already pretty slow wide open, F/6.3.

      For astronomical photography, I can get some pretty nice lunars, as you can see on my flickr page ( These are stacked photos, usually 4-14 photos combined.

      Btw, this is the 170-500mm. I actually didn’t purchase it, it was given to me. It’s not horrible, but it’s definitely not for low light situations.

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