Byron Bay photographer Dylan O'Donnell took this stunning photo of the International Space Station passing the moon on Tuesday. Photo Contributed
Byron Bay photographer Dylan O'Donnell took this stunning photo of the International Space Station passing the moon on Tuesday. Photo Contributed Contributed

‘Holy grail’ shot for Byron photographer

A BYRON Bay photographer captured his holy grail of astrophotography this week with an incredible image of the International Space Station passing over the moon.

Dylan O'Donnell said Tuesday night's attempt was the second time he tried to take the stunning shot.

"I've only tried once before and I completely botched it, it looked like a blur," he said.

"The International Space Station ISS passes through the sky semi regularly, but for it to line up like it did with a nearly full moon is quite rare.

"Some people go chasing around the world to try and line it up but I just waited from my home and it was about 12 months from the last time it lined up that way for me."

To capture the spectacular shot, Mr O'Connell connected his Canon 70D digital camera to his Celestron 9.25{inch} telescope, giving an effective focal length of 2300mm at f10.

To put that into perspective, most consumer digital SLR's have a 300mm zoom lens .

"This time I used a 1650th of a second shutter speed and I made sure that exposure would work," he said.

"That combined with an ISO of 800 was needed in order to freeze the ISS in motion.

"I was counting down to the second and about a second or two before it was due I fired off a burst off shots on the camera to check the exposure."

When he saw the finished product, Mr O'Connell could hold back his excitement.

"I was doing fist pumps in the sky," he said.

"It's really nice to get it, but to get it so sharp I could see the solar arrays, I could see the modules, was amazing."

When he posted the photo on Facebook, accolades came think and fast.

"I actually got featured on Canon Australia's website today with that shot which was great," Mr O'Donnell said.

"Even some of my more experienced colleagues in astrophotography emailed me to congratulate me this morning because they know how hard it is to get one of those shots and some of them have been trying for years."

To check out Mr O'Donnell's work visit http://www.deography.com where the spectacular shot can be downloaded for free.



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