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Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Little Colorado at Cameron, AZ


This was the view from our hotel room in Cameron Arizona of the Little Colorado.  Cameron Arizona is a little town east of the east entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park.  The Little Colorado meets up with the Colorado up river west of here.  This view is towards the west, approximately.  We stayed at the hotel at the Cameron Trading Post which is a nice little store, restaurant and hotel that must get lots of business at most times of the year.  The exposure was 1/500 seconds at f/11, ISO 200 with my 24mm lens.


Here is a panorama assembled from the previous image and 6 others covering almost 180 degrees of azimuth.  On the right is the highway 89 bridge over the Little Colorado.  This view is centered approximately towards the north.  This panorama was assembled using Hugin on my Linux box.

The view up Canyon.


  There are no bad views in the Grand Canyon.  This view up canyon from Yavapai Point shows the layering really well in the bright sunlight.  At the right along the rim is Desert View and with a telephoto, you can see the Watchtower.  This image was taken with my 24mm lens on my 70D and an exposure of 1/350 seconds at f/6.7, ISO 200.


Here is a telephoto shot of the Watchtower at Desert View with my 75-300mm lens at 300mm focal length.  The exposure was 1/1500 seconds at f/9.5, ISO 400.

A Canyon Sunset from Desert View


We watched the sunset during our Grand Canyon trip last month from next to the Watchtower at Desert View near the eastern entrance to the Grand Canyon.  I was hoping for a more colorful sunset, but the nearly completely overcast sky limited the colors present.  Here are a couple HDR combines, the first looking west into the canyon below the main visitors center on the South Rim.  I combined 5 exposures at 1 stop offsets centered on the metered proper exposure.  The shortest exposure which allowed the brightly lit sun to be visible in the sky was 1/45 seconds at f/6.7, ISO 200.  The longest exposure was 1/3 seconds at f/6.7, ISO 200.  All with my 24mm lens and the camera was on a tripod.


This view upriver produced some spectacular colors.  The view of the river in the bottom of the canyon was also quite spectacular.  This HDR combine used 5 exposures from the shortest of 1/30 seconds at f/6.7, ISO 200 to 1/2 seconds at f/6.7, ISO 200 with my 24mm lens on my 70D.

Friday, March 07, 2014

The View from Yavapai Point & Ansel Scotti's interpretatoin....


This view from Yavapai Point in the Grand Canyon shows many of the canyon's features also visible from the area around the main visitors center.  You can see the trail out to Plateau Point near the bottom.  The Colorado river is not visible in this image but can be seen from this viewpoint in two small areas but you can see the Geological story of the Colorado Plateau laid out vertically in the canyon walls.  Just right of center just below the horizon is Isis Temple, the sharp rock pillar on top of the broad reddish pyramid like structure.  This image was taken with my 24mm SIgma lens with an exposure of 1/350 seconds at f/6.7, ISO 200.


It is fun to look at images in black and white.  In this case, I took the image above and converted it to black and white and played with layers and curves for a bit, thinking about the image as great photographers like Ansel Adams might capture the scene.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Birds of the Grand Canyon - Western Scrub Jay


Hey look, it's a blue bird of some sort!  A Blue Jay? Ok, this is a Western Scrub Jay.  He reminded me a little of the Mexican Jay's that we see on Kitt Peak, though not quite as blue and not quite as agressive looking for handouts.... 130mm 1/500 f/5.7 400


This little guy moved around a lot, giving me some variety in shots. This image was taken at 300mm focal length with an exposure of 1/750 seconds at f/5.7 and ISO 400.


This image was taken at 300mm focal length with an exposure of 1/1000 seconds at f/9.5, ISO 400.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Birds of the Grand Canyon - White Breasted Nuthatch and Grey Headed Junco


This White Breasted Nuthatch watched us walk past on the rim trail and even waited while I stopped to take his picture. This image was taken at 170mm focal length with an exposure of 1/350 seconds at f/9.5 and ISO 400.


This Grey headed Junco wouldn't sit still for long and was hard to get a picture that really allowed me to figure out what kind of bird he was.... This image was taken at 300mm focal length and an exposure of 1/250 seconds at  f/9.5 at ISO 400.

Birds of the Grand Canyon - Mountain Chickadee


This Mountain Chickadee visited us as we finished our lunch at a picnic ground next to the main visitors center at the South Rim.  He was probably looking for handouts.  This image was taken at 240mm focal length with an exposure of 1/500 seconds at f/6.7, ISO 200.


Another view as the "model" turned slightly.  This image was taken at 240mm focal length with an expsoure of 1/250 seconds at f/6.7, ISO 200.


The little guy also jumped on the ground looking for any food he could find under our table. This image wsa taken at 300mm focal length and an exposure of 1/180 seconds at f/6.7, ISO 200.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Birds of the Grand Canyon - Common Raven


You can't help noticing all the birds in the Grand Canyon National Park.  It's winter time, so I didn't expect as many as you'd see in summer months, but we still saw and heard lots.  The most common bird that we saw was the Common Raven.  This one sat in a tree just above the next one, probably looking for food.  This image was taken with my telephoto at 300mm focal length with an exposure of 1/750 seconds at f/6.7, ISO 200.


This one was on the edge of the parking lot near the previous Common Raven.  He didn't mind my being "only" about 20 feet away.  This image was taken at 300mm focal length with an exposure of 1/180 seconds at f/6.7, ISO 200.


We stopped at a scenic pullout and this Common Raven landed on the rock wall next to our car and walked boldly up to within about 4 feet of me.  I had to step back to get him to only fill my frame.  This exposure was at 75mm focal length and 1/500 seconds at f/4.8, ISO 400.


He seemed to be looking for handouts and even looked in our open car door like he expected us to feed him - I presume that happens often despite park rules to the contrary.  This image was taken at 75mm focal length and 1/1000 seconds at f/4.8, ISO 400.


Almost the same pose but a little less closeup.  75mm and 1/1000 seconds at f/4.8, ISO 400.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gem and Mineral Show


We went to the Gem and Mineral show on its last day a week ago.  There were many spectacular displays and way too many cool things that we could have bought, usually for way more than we could afford.  This first image is a UV lighted gem display showing their fluorescence.  This image was taken with my 24mm lens at 1/45 second at f/2.8, ISO 3200.


My sweetie couldn't resist buying some petrified wood.  This group had a very nice collection and they had three fewer pieces after she was done with them.  This image was taken with my 24mm lens at 1/250 seconds at f/4, ISO 800.


While she was tempted by polished gems (which I was calling "rocks") she found this display with some Onegite which is now on display in her classroom.  This image was taken with my 24mm lens and an exposure of 1/350 seconds at f/4, ISO 800.

Road Runner - if he catches you you're through!


While visiting the San Xavier Mission, this Road Runner was hanging around a small seating area and didn't seem to mind my taking his picture.  This image was taken with my Canon 75-300 zoom at 180mm focal length and an exposure of 1/250 seconds at f/16, ISO 400.


Another view of the Road Runner.  This image was taken from a little farther away with some more zoom at 255mm focal length and an exposure of 1/180 seconds at f/16, ISO 400.

San Xavier Mission


While I am not at all religious, I do love old buildings and historical sites.  We visited the San Xavier Mission southwest of Tucson a week ago while hunting for some gifts for my daughter who visited last week (more later when I post images from our trip to northern Arizona).  This image was taken with my 24mm lens on my Canon 70D and an exposure of 1/750 seconds at f/16, ISO 400.  This mission dates to the 17th century when Fr. Eusebio Kino established the mission in 1692.  This building was constructed between 1783 and 1797 and while today it is sometimes called "The White Dove of the Desert", it was originally unpainted and a brown color.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Astronomer in the control room


Last week while observing at the Spacewatch telescopes I played around with the wifi connection between my new Canon 70D and my Nexus 7 tablet using the Canon EOS Remote app on the tablet.  It allows live viewing on the tablet from the camera as well as some control over exposure and tripping the shutter remotely.  Pay no attention to the tablet on my lap.  This image was taken with my 24mm lens set to 1 second at f/16 (for maximum depth of field) and ISO 1600 in our 1.8-m control room.  BTW, the guy in the chair is yours truly - luckily, I didn't crack the lens.