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
Yes, astrophotography is a real thing. According to Wikipedia the first picture of the moon was taken in 1840. I’ve been pretty fascinated with it recently myself so I thought I try my hand at it while we were in Hawaii. This represents what I think is the best of the pictures I took there. I got shots with the moon and shots of the Milky Way. These are all single exposures meaning that I didn’t combine several pictures to get each part of the picture exposed properly. I also did very little post processing and most of the post processing I did do was in Lightroom. The longer I use Lightroom the more I appreciate what a great program it is. These picture were all taken at ISO 1600, f 3.5 and about 20-25 seconds for each exposure.
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?
I went to Las Vegas this last week to attend a Building Information Modeling (BIM) Conference and as a part of the conference we had an event at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve. There’s a pretty cool collection of buildings there as well as a nice botanical garden. We only had time to tour a small area of the faculty, but buildings included: a rammed earth building, straw bail building, cooling done by evaporation towers and natural ventilation and included the UNLV entry into the solar decathlon in DC (they were awarded a second place for there efforts). We participated in a presentation about the preserve and the facilities there, then had networking session and then dinner. My wife and I had a great time. Below are photos of the facilities.
Mount Sawtelle is visible out the window of the kitchen at the cabin, maybe that’s why I’m fascinated with it. I wanted to try a couple of dusky shots – here they are:
This one is six seconds at f38 ISO 400 55mm with my 18-55mm lens.
This one you can begin to see the big dipper in the upper right corner of the frame, it is ten seconds f8 2EV (two stops over exposed) ISO 800 18mm with my 18-55mm lens.
Well I’ve spent all kinds of time processing photos I took in DC last week. If you would like, check out what I’ve posted on Google+ or Flickr. I’ll post a few here also. No collection of DC photos would be complete with out a shot of the obelisk called the Washington Monument. This is a five shot HDR taken mounted on a tripod with lots of traffic moving across the street in the foreground.
You may recall that we went searching for fall color last week and found some. We ended up in Evanston and had a nice dinner. Then, when it was completely dark, very windy and beginning to rain I found the Evanston train station. Well, I’m required by some kind of weird self imposed rule to take a picture regardless of conditions. I was freezing to death and most of the shots didn’t turn out because the wind apparently was causing my tripod to move during my one and two minute exposures. Well, this one turned out! 6 shooter HDR and no noise in the black sky. It’s a miracle! It’s Wyoming so it a 6 shooter not a 6 shot HDR just in case you were wondering.
We got to the Maple Leaf a little early and hadn’t had any dinner so we walked down the street and found a nice little Barbeque place called Squeal. We all had a delicious half rack of ribs which none of us finished. ISO 400 1/4 sec at f5.6 HDR in Photoshop. By the way this is my own Photoshop settings so if you try to do this with the standard Photoshop HDR it probably won’t work or look like this.