This is a poor quality picture of what I think is Venus, the so-called Morning Star, which is the next planet in from the Earth towards the Sun.  It’s been a constant companion on my dawn walks of late.  But trying to photograph it with a lens which has a maximum x2 magnification, and with a camera with a very small sensor (only 6×4.5mm!!!), is at best a little optimistic (ah, great British understatement…) >>> so why am I attempting it?

Well, in the first place, as you may know, I love the Natural World, I am downright enthusiastic about it and, if nothing else, I wanted a record of this aspect of these early morning strolls.  Strolls?  Well, OK, route marches …

But in the second place – and there is a second place – there is something else.  Some years back, a good friend of mine succumbed to cancer, after 10 very difficult years.  Paul was certainly amongst the most talented and intelligent people I’ve ever known, and he had also been my senior manager at work.  As his condition worsened and death loomed ever closer, we talked a lot about Life, the Universe and Everything, and one of the things that he came out with was that most of humanity’s achievements had ceased to enthuse him – with the very notable exception of space exploration.  He was of course highly educated and a talented musician and many things still interested him, but what really excited him were our efforts to reach and explore further and further away from our planet.

And I’m writing this both to remember him – his grave is not far from here – and because I increasingly identify with his attitude.  I’m a naturalist and, after all, space, the planets and the stars are the natural world too, they’re just not on this planet.  I don’t keep any detailed list of which space probes are currently headed where, but I do remember that lander that was recently put down on a comet (what an achievement!), that another lander is currently working on Mars, and that a probe is currently heading towards the Sun.

And, in the Festive Season as we are, we are close to another historic encounter, which will occur on New Year’s Day.  NASA’s New Horizons probe, which flew past the planet Pluto in 2015, will have travelled another billion miles into space to reach the vicinity of Ultima Thule, which is a 23 mile wide space rock: the probe will pass within 2,200 miles of Ultima Thule, far closer than it got to Pluto, and it will be travelling at 20,000 mph.  No question, I am impressed – both with actually managing to get that far out into space, and with being able to plot courses/trajectories at such distances to reach such small objects.  There is more info here and here .

The first image in the Outer Suburbs series, with context, is here: 1 .  Subsequent images are here: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 .  Each will open in a separate window.

You really want to enlarge this image?????  Not recommended!!! … unless you have a thing for noise, pain and grain …

Technique: TG-5 at 100mm (equiv); 6400 ISO; Lightroom, using the Camera Natural film simulation; south Bristol; 12 Dec 2018.


About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.


  1. bluebrightly says:

    It’s good to stretch our minds, thinking about those impossible distances, and looking at Venus – so companionable, so gracefully warm and real – brings it home somehow. It’s interesting to me that you studied geology and now look to the heavens,but you never forget the earth, with it’s birds, and people going to work, and trees on the moors.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Oh, the heavens and the Earth, its all the natural world, and I love it! As far as I know, the natural world gets by just fine without all the imagined realities that are so essential to us humans, and that’s a very powerful point for me.

      So, we are now waiting for the New Horizons probe to “phone home” at 3.28pm!!! I’m stunned by the accuracy here – it takes 6 hours for the radio signal to reach Earth. Also, I THINK I’ve just calculated that Ultima Thule is only 1/1455th of a light year away from Earth which, again, really puts space’s vastnesses into perspective. A 🙂


      • bluebrightly says:

        It’s impossible to conceive of those distances…and I’m right there with you in thinking that the natural world does fine without our imagined realities, unless you count among them the realities that destroy that world. I guess it depends on how you look at it.


        • Adrian Lewis says:

          Well, I suppose the realities destroying this world are realities, not imagined ones, except to The American President that is … My friend, I’m so glad we think along similar lines, its very reassuring. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Helen Cherry says:

    such an interesting post Adrian.


  3. Space. The planets. Stars. Amazing stuff. Mind boggling really. Great pic, bud. Wires, Venus, green edged clouds and all. 👍🏼



  4. paula graham says:

    I like the idea of it being the drone of all drones with her nebulous side.


  5. No grain – no pain! 🙂
    If it’s not Venus it could be evidence of the Gatwick drone heading west!!!
    Mr C


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