Been hanging out at the cabin all week keeping it warm until my siblings come up so we can close it. It was quite a sacrifice, but I was glad to do it. Night temperatures were in the upper 20s and I was lucky to see 50 during the day. I think that happened once. Seen moose and fox and other little critters, snow, rain and sun. Sorry no pics. Anyway because of the cold pretty much every morning we have water vapor rising off the river. It looked kind of like this picture, but better in person. The camera as good as it is just doesn’t get it all. (Could be the photographer). This is a six shot pan of the whole river visible from the cabin.
Why is it that when I’m at the cabin the moose are across the river and when anyone else is there they come knock on the door. Trust me my little Canon is nothing to be afraid of. That said here’s a couple of wildlife photos.
Seems like when we go into Yellowstone there’s always a big slow down usually for Bison or Elk or Deer. This year both Elk and Bison. Interesting story about a car full in foreigners
and the Bison, but will leave that for another time. We actually pulled over to go check out the Elk because there were three moms and four baby’s. You don’t see the baby’s everyday. They were all lounging in the grass, but moms definitely at attention.
There is nothing like a trip to Island Park to inspire me. I thought I would make the first post about the sky. The first night at the cabin I went out about 11pm and got set up to take some Milky Way picture. The Moon was up which isn’t great for taking milky way shots, but I thought I’d see what came of it.
Just as I got set up I was interrupted by a group taking a float down the river….starting there float a 11 pm! Well, lots of moon light so why not. This first shot is terrible, but I learned that I can drag the Milky Way out of even this shot. Car headlights and taillights clearly visible and making a mess of things. Maybe I should mention here that I was also interrupted by a group on ATVs out for a little midnight ride as well.
Because I wasn’t going to get a good clean picture of the Milky Way with them sitting there, I decided to move and take a shot of the moon and see what would come of that. There car headlights lit the foreground in an interesting way. So here’s what we ended up with. These shots include members of the group floating through the picture, but because my shutter was open so long you don’t even see them. You can also see that some of the planets and stars that are visible move slightly.
After these folks moved out of the scene I took a few more pics with out the benefit of there light, just to see how that would look.
Then I moved back into position to grab some Milky Way. I took only five shots and put two of them together for this two shot panorama.
I went out early two mornings as well. To late the first morning (5 am) to get Milky Way, but early enough to grab some sunrise shots. This is a five shot pan.
The last morning at 3 am the moon was still out, the sky was full of smoke from wild fires which made a nice red moon but left me with no desire to see what I might get. I went back to bed.
As far as chronology goes this is out of order, but I don’t think you’ll care. So I’ll just say we went to Breckenridge, Colorado a couple of weeks ago to start an extended fall color tour. Well we were too early. There was a very little color. If I get around to it I’ll share those later. Last week we went to Island Park like we’ve been doing the last couple of Septembers and it was awesome. Last year we were too late so we scheduled an earlier slot this year. Again not a lot a color when we got there. After a couple of pretty cool days and some time fishing while it was snowing, the fall color was coming on. What I’m sharing here are pictures I took the last day we were there and the area these are taken in is a rather small isolated area.
The area was pretty diverse. We’ve got a panorama of a pond in sunlight and everything else in shade from the clouds. These pictures were taken about 6:30 pm so a half an hour before sunset. I love what I call an angry sky and there’s a good one in these shots. Other shots are all individual exposures. I usually shoot fall color with a aperture of f8 or so. The individual tree with the blurred background was taken with 100mm lens opened up to f2.8.
There was no shortage of wild life this year as we opened the cabin. It was nice to be able to spend some time hanging out enjoying the show. Ducks, moose and pelicans where all putting on a pretty good show. The way the pelicans were eating I’m pretty sure I know why we didn’t see many fish. By the time I finished taking pictures of the moose it was getting pretty late, it was after 9:00 and I was shooting at 6400 ISO so the pictures are getting a little grainy. The pictures were taken handheld and the moose was moving so I didn’t have a lot of choice. Hope you like them.
I haven’t been doing much wildlife photography lately. Since I made a change in equipment (I’ve moved to Canon) I don’t have a long lens. The longest I’ve got is 135 mm. Wildlife photography is usually done with lenses that are 300 to 600 mm and it costs a lot of dough for a good one. Wildlife was plentiful and somewhat willing to be shot with my Canon so I didn’t deny them. My buddy got up close and personal with a moose while fishing, but I missed that one. I really enjoy Island Park in the fall. There is almost no one around, the animals are all less anxious, the fishing is awesome. Here’s what I captured the end of September. The bald eagle was perched in a tree at the edge of the river. The ducks were everywhere on the river. The squirrel was next the the trail we hike from the boat dock up to the fishing bridge.
Fall Color this year is different than the last couple of years. I got some great pictures of fall as my sister Marcie and I paddled down Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, the very last day of September. There wasn’t another person any where! It was awesome as we practiced our silent paddling down the river trying not to disturb anything that might be in, on or close to the river. We were rewarded for our efforts and I’ll share those shortly. Today I’m just going to share a couple of shots of the river which includes a couple of panoramas. I was a little nervous taking my camera down the river in a canoe, but all went well, as you can see. The panoramas were done hand held. For some strange reason I didn’t take my tripod. Oh, yea I remember! How’s a tripod going to work in a canoe?
The nights following the solar eclipse were also mostly clear. There was a few lightening flashes off in the distance and a couple of clouds to add a little interest, but generally a great night for stars. Lighting and stars would have been pretty cool. The moon came up later and the sun was setting early so venturing out to take starry night pictures was better than usual. My sister was with me for this shoot and as we were winding up she recommended shooting straight up. We even caught a shooting star! What a great idea! I also took a picture which included the river, which I really like, and yes there are some of the stronger stars reflected in the river. The most predominate stars (a group of four above the horizon) is Orion’s Belt. Exposure was about 24 seconds at f3.5 at 18mm
I tried my hand at some more astrophotography during the lunar eclipse we had just over a week ago. I’d seen some pictures of the moon in various stages of being eclipsed all in the same picture. Well I started out good until I figured out that the moon was going to go behind some trees. I was taking pictures every ten minutes, and had to move after three exposures. Took a couple more and had to move again, because of the trees. Long story short I’ve got a couple of strings of eclipse exposures and a few others when I was just playing around.
The eclipse was a lot of fun to watch and really quite wonderful. Being out in the woods has it’s advantages and it’s disadvantages. There was absolutely no light pollution. The evening was cool and otherwise very enjoyable. The downside there were trees everywhere.
I anticipated getting a couple of new night sky pictures this year at the cabin but the moon and the clouds worked against me and I didn’t get much. What I’ve shared here is a couple of shots from the first night at the cabin. July 31st was apparently a “blue moon”.
- Blue Moon = The third full Moon in an astronomical season with 4 full Moons (versus the normal 3)
- Blue Moon = The second full Moon in a month with two full Moons.
At any rate I was just experimenting with exposure and etc and after a few shot decided to zoom in on the moon. I’m shooting with an 18 – 135 mm lens so zooming in isn’t getting in tight as you can see. An interesting thing happened. I got an object in the picture that I can’t identify, and didn’t see with the naked eye. Wild. Let me know if you’ve got any ideas. There is a lot of lens flare in the first picture, maybe the unknown is caused by that?