Another Planet At The Mauna Kea Summit

Another Planet, Mauna Kea, Big Island

Being at the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island is the most otherworldly experience I’ve had. It didn’t matter which direction I looked, it felt like another planet. This is the creatively named Canada-France-Hawaii telescope, leaving little to the imagination.

Other partners include Brazil, Taiwan and China, who will also have scheduled time with the telescope. There is actually nobody in these things! They are all controlled remotely and we were told you can view delayed imaging online, although I can’t remember where.

I used Topaz DeNoise to reduce the noise in this image, shot handheld at ISO 1600. The rest of the processing was done in Lightroom. I was going for the “Mars” effect, which is really how I felt looking out at this scene. A most incredible place!

Where’s the most otherworldly place you’ve been? Maybe you know more about these telescopes?! I’d love to hear from you.


12 thoughts on “Another Planet At The Mauna Kea Summit

    1. Ben Post author

      Yeah I always thought there would be some scientists inside. They seem too big to be empty! Glad you like the effect 🙂

    1. Ben Post author

      There certainly is! It does a much better job than Lightroom with noise, although I am yet to buy it because I don’t shoot often at high ISO. I expect I’ll buy it soon though. If you deal with noise regularly I can definitely recommend it!

  1. xialy

    I love that picture, at first impression, I thought it was a sun rise with a radar dome by the sea but then I know you are at the top of a volcano, so it can only be clouds and a telescope really stunning effects.

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks! Yeah you almost have to do a double take to work out what’s going on. I always enjoy photos like that, glad you like this one 🙂 Sunrise by the sea sounds great as well though!

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Lucy, the colours throughout Hawaii were just incredible. And I’m happy the effect seems to be well received on this shot!


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