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Monday, July 13, 2015

Colorful sunset



Here are two views of last nights sunset from our backyard, both taken with my Galaxy Note 4's camera with different white balances.  The shadows on the upper clouds caught my attention first and you can see them change over the 5 minutes or so between the two shots.  You can also see virga from the clouds below.  I am almost spoiled by the extra processing that my cell phone camera can do even before the images are stored compared to what I might need to do after the shot with my "real camera".  According to the image information, the exposures were f/2.2, 1/121 seconds, 4.8mm focal length and ISO 40 for the first image and f/2.2, 1/30 seconds, 4.8mm focal length and ISO 64 for the 2nd exposure.  I think the first was in auto white balance and both used HDR mode for the exposure.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Lightning over Tucson

I watched a nice lightning storm over the Tucson area tonight after sunset.  Lightning appeared over Oro Valley and Mount Lemmon while it was mostly clear overhead on Kitt Peak.

 This image is looking over Oro Valley, in the general direction of Biosphere 2.  Twilight was still heavy when I took this exposure.  The exposure is 2 second at f/4, ISO 1600 with my 70-200mm f/2.8L lens at 70mm focal length.

Looking over Tucson with the Tucson Mountains in the foreground and the Catalina mountains behind them.  A few strokes of lightning hit near the summit of Mount Lemmon with lots of other activity overhead.  This image was a 30 second exposure at f/8, ISO 800 with my 70-200mm f/2.8L lens at 100mm focal length.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Venus and Jupiter dancing in the evening sky



As Venus and Jupiter were getting very close together this past week, it's been cloudy in Tucson and I only got a brief hazy glimpse of them about 5 days ago.  Tonight on my way home, though, I was treated to the pair dancing in the western sky as well as the Moon rising in the east.  When I got home, I pulled out my Canon 70D along with my 70-200 f/2.8L lens and took some shots.  Here, I've backed the lens off to 70mm focal length to get the surrounding trees and stars.  A little adjustment in the GIMP brought out more details in the sky and a bit of sharpening helped show off structure in the trees.  This exposure was at 70mm focal length with an exposure of 2 seconds at f/5.6, ISO 1600.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Turkey Vulture over Kitt Peak

While observing on Kitt Peak, I get to watch a number of different types of birds flying overhead.  Big ones love to make use of the updrafts and some play around with the domes, flying close by them while playing with their friends.  This time of year, the Turkey Vultures are quite common and often fly pretty close.  Here is one that I caught a few days ago with my 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II on my Canon 70D with an exposure of 1/8000 seconds at f/8, ISO 1600 at 200mm focal length.  I normally wouldn't shoot in broad daylight with ISO 1600, but I had used the camera that morning in twilight for some shots of domes and didn't have much time to think about my cameras ISO setting when I saw the birds flying relatively close by.  On the other hand, 1/8000 seconds sure does stop the bird and the cameras motion.  I love how sharp the images are with this lens - you can see details in the birds eye despite his being at least 100 feet away when I captured this shot.  I cropped this from the original frame.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Venus-Moon-Mercury

I was out in the Tucson Mountains last night taking pictures of the celestial show in the western sky, namely Venus, the Moon and Mercury.  Got a late start and almost missed Mercury!


The Earthshine-lit Moon was very pretty and Venus is off to its left with Mercury near the horizon almost straight below the Moon.  An airplane is visible slightly streaked at the left edge of the image.  This image was taken with my Canon 70D with my 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens at 70mm focal length with an exposure of 2 seconds at f/4, ISO 800.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Big Obsidian Flow in Newberry Volcano

One of the youngest lava flows in Oregon occured in the Newberry Volcano only 1300 years ago.  The third image from my last post shows the Obsidian flow from near the highest point on the Newberry Volcano, on Paulina Peak.  There is a nice trail into the Obsidian Lava Flow that gives you a close up look at the devastation of the flow and how the area is slowly returning to a life-bearing landscape.


The start of the trail near the parking lot is wooded with the lava flow nearly 100 feet tall and is visible through the trees.  This image was taken with my Sigma 18-250mm lens on my 70D at 18mm with an exposure of 1/80 seconds at f/9, ISO 100.


Near the start of the trail, it climbs a set of stairs up the side of the flow.  This image was taken at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/400 seconds at f/9, ISO 200.


The Obsidian flow has a lot of different types of lava - this is an Obsidian outcrop with other types of lava and pumice.  This image was taken at 250mm focal length with an exposure of 1/100 seconds at f/6.4, ISO 200.


This outcrop of obsidian shows lots of interesting structure.  The next two frames zoom in on one of the larger blocks of Obsidian, showing its glassy structure.






This lonely old tree has seen better times.  In the distance is Paulina Peak on the rim of the caldera.  This image was taken at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/2500 seconds at f/4.6, ISO 200.


Looking across the Obsidian flow towards Paulina Lake in the center of the caldera.  In the distance are two of the many volcanoes in Oregon.  This image was taken at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/2500 seconds at f/4.6, ISO 200.

This last image is of the photographer and his sweetie next to an old tree growing amongst the lava flow as nature slowly encroaches on the barren landscape.  This image was taken at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/320 seconds at f/8, ISO 200.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Newberry Volcano - Paulina Peak panoramas

If you visit Newberry Volcano be sure to drive up the narrow dirt road to the top of Paulina Peak where you'll get these spectacular views of the caldera as well as distant mountains like the Three Sisters and even Mount Adams all the way in southern Washington.

This first panorama was taken near the parking lot.  The lake on the left is Paulina Lake which is separated from East Lake by a small volcanic cone.  The summit is at 7,984 feet and the original volcano stood probably about 4,000 feet taller before it collapsed about 80,000 years ago much as Mt. Mazama did about 7,700 years ago to create Crater Lake. The Newberry Volcano Caldera may have looked more like Crater Lake at one time, but it is much older and has had a great deal of volcanic activity in the time since its collapse.  The 4 images that make up this panorama were taken with my 18-250mm Sigma lens at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/160 seconds at f/8, ISO 200.

This wider panorama was taken below the parking lot where there is a view across most of the caldera.  On the right is the Obsidian Lava flow that flowed to about 2 miles from its source about 1,300 years ago.  Archeological evidence indicates that this caldera has been occupied since at least 9,500 years ago and included a dwelling that was buried by Mt. Mazama ash when Crater Lake formed about 7,700 years ago.  15 portrait oriented images were stitched into this panorama, taken at 22mm focal length with an exposure of 1/160 seconds at f/6.4, ISO 200.


This 4 frame panorama shows the extent of the Obsidian Flow from its source on the southern edge of the caldera to its end about 2 miles away.  This lava flow along with hot springs in the two lakes and other activity (including some bulging likely due to magma movement below the caldera) suggests that this volcano is not finished and might again put on a show at some time in the future.  These images were taken at 37mm focal length with an exposure of 1/160 seconds at f/6.4, ISO 200.