As far as meteor showers go this one wasn't one of the more spectacular ones I have seen. But it was still special to me for a couple of reasons. Since this particular shower peaks early in the night and it's pretty mild out now I brought my 10 year old son with me. He had never seen a meteor (shooting star) before and we got to see one really good bright one as his first. He was thrilled! Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of it, but that is how this game goes. We had a nice time out there and that's probably what is most important in the end.
Since this shower was coming from the North I wanted to try a composition I had been thinking about for a while including this boulder with ancient petroglyphs on it. They are estimated to be about 2000 years old and I thought a backdrop of stars would go well with them. I would have liked a better meteor but this is what I got. If you look closely above the boulder you can see one small meteor streak. I lit the petroglyphs with a small LED camping lantern that has adjustable output so I can dial it down to match a long exposure like this (15 seconds). I'm also working on some stacks of sequential images I shot for a similar image with star trails.
Finally, the moon and Venus were also looking great last night while we were hiking up to the petroglyph site. We stopped and shot a little along the trail of this beautiful celestial alignment. The Earth shine on the dark side of the moon was a great added bonus.
If the conditions look good I think I'll go back out for another try tonight even though the peak was last night. Hopefully I'll be able to catch one of those big bright ones this time!
Thanks for looking!
| Categories: Astrophotography | Nature | Photography
Wow, this new park looks great. We just had a dedication ceremony and then the skaters got right to it! The people driving this project overcame a lot of obstacles to get this done and I think it's going to be a great amenity for our town. When some funds fell through late in the process the guys at Team Pain (the contractors who built it) decided to camp out to make budget instead of cutting any corners. What a great gesture!
I remember reading Thrasher magazine when I was a teenager and they would always have these fisheye photos of great skaters doing something cool so I thought I'd give it a try myself.
I used my Pentax K-5 & Rokinon 8mm f/3.5, a value lens and it worked great! I also ran a Sigma 530 Super flash for fill with the high sun.
| Categories: Action | Photography | Sport
I was out late the other night trying to shoot another meteor shower, this time over Blue Mesa Reservoir. I saw three nice bright meteors but didn't wind up with any really good meteor shots. In fact, I only got this one and I have to admit it's not all that impressive (meteor trail is faint in the upper left quadrant).
But the night was not a total bust! In the process of trying to get a good meteor shot I took two sets of about 50 exposures each using a home made IR intervalometer since my camera doesn't have one built in (I'll dedicate a post to that project soon).
Using ImageStacker software I combined each set of individual images to create these star trails photos. I'm fairly happy with how these came out and that my cold night next to the lake was not spent in vain!
All shots in this post made with a Pentax K-x and a Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye lens
The streak in this one is a plane flying by.
| Categories: Nature | Photography
These Balsamroot plants once provided food, first aid, and medicinal tea for natives.
I just love it when I find a big hillside of them like this.The Rokinon 8mm was just the tool for this job.
This is at the Swampy Pass trailhead on Ohio Pass.
| Categories: Nature | Photography
I had fun taking some star shots Friday night while camping with the family at Hartman Rocks. For this one I used the 8mm Rokinon fisheye which worked perfectly for a nice ultra wide shot. Fun lens, fun night. The meteor in the upper left was icing on the cake!
The light on the rocks was from the campfire and the sage was from a flashlight.
Pentax K-x, Rokinon 8mm, 15s f/5.6 ISO 3200
On a little bit of an impulse I picked up an inexpensive fisheye recently. It's a Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 MF. I guess this same line of lenses comes under several names like Bower and Vivitar.
Anyway, it's a fun lens. Distortion is actually less than what I was expecting.The day it arrived I took it to the fairgrounds to shoot some test shots and my cat was hanging out over there. So he got to do a little modeling for me.
| Categories: Photography