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Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Sunset from our back yard, July 30 this year. Canon 20D at ISO 400, 18-55mm kit lens at 18mm, exposure 1/400s at f/11.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

This is the original for the previous image from July 24, in this case, I applied only the "I'm Feeling Lucky" filter in Picasa to the image.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 29, 2005

Yet another image from July 24. This one is from Point Imperial with Mount Hayden showing prominantly. This was converted to B&W using Picasa. My 20D was set to ISO 100 using my 24mm lens. Expsosure was 1/100s at f/8. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Another image from July 24th. This is from Fire Point looking out over the North Rim Grand Canyon. I nicknamed these 3 flat topped rocks "The Three Stooges". It would be great to hike down to them someday and I think I was able to spot them from the distant Crazy Jug point in images I took the day before from there. This shot is with my 20D using my 70-300mm zoom lens at 300mm, exposure was 1/1600s at f/8, ISO 400. Posted by Picasa

This deer wandered across the road while we sat in the car waiting for the lite rain to stop at our campsite in the National Forest near Fire Point on July 24 this year. We ate dinner as we watched her eat her dinner as well, roaming the meadow within a hundred feet of us or so. She had a companion who was more wary of us and stayed farther away behind us in the trees. She milled around within sight for almost half an hour. 20D with 70-300mm zoom set to 300mm. Exposure 1/200s at f/5.6, ISO 3200 in the late afternoon light. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The dark sky on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This image was taken on July 24 this year at our campsite in the National Forest just off of the North Rim, near the road out to Fire Point. The late afternoon rains let up and the sky partly cleared, but still mar this image. The silhouette of trees around our campsite against the dark black, starlit sky of the summer Milky Way near Cygness is apparent. This exposure is with my 24mm lens at f/1.8 for 15 seconds, ISO 3200. Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 26, 2005

Another picture from last nights game. This is Alex Cintron fouling off a ball which came almost straight at us. As I mentioned in the previous entry, there were a few drunks in the crowd and this one particularly loud Mets fan sitting a row back and about 8 or 10 seats away in the next section was hit by this ball on the fly. While he didn't seem to hardly notice it, I bet he's hurting today..... It couldn't have happened to a "nicer" guy. Zoom lens set to 214mm, exposure 1/400s at f/5, ISO 1600 with my 20D. Posted by Picasa

I attended the Mets-Diamondbacks game last night (August 25) at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix. These are my 2 favorite teams and until the D'Backs came to be, I was a diehard Mets fan. I root for the Mets as long as they aren't playing the D'Backs. Anyway, unlike the two previous games, last nights game was a pitchers duel which the Mets won 3-1. This image shows D'Backs pinch hitter Quinton McCracken in the instant just before the ball (just to his left, at about elbow height) hit him. It was the 2nd hit batsman by a Mets pitcher in the game and the first by Aaron Heilman. We had great seats in the lower level, surrounded by Mets fans (most of them friendly folks, but there were a couple of drunks in the crowd as always....) which offered a great view of the game, especially with my 70-300mm zoom lens. In this image, it was set to 190mm on my 20D. ISO was 1600 and the exposure was 1/400s at f/5. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A storm approaches. This is an image of Lake Powell looking out over Antelope Island. This was converted to B&W in Picasa. This image was taken on July 25 of this year with my 24mm lens attached to my 20D. ISO was 100 and the exposure was 1/500s at f/8. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

One of my images from an Arizona Heat Womens Fastpitch softball game on August 12. The umpire behind the plate is my good friend Bob. Taken with my 20D using my 70-300mm zoom at 214mm. ISO was 1600 and the exposure was 1/400s at f/5. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

This image was taken from near Parrisawampitts point on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on July 23 of this year. I converted it to B&W using Irfanview. The original image was taken with my Canon 20D set to ISO 100 using a 24mm f/1.8 Sigma lens. Exposure was 1/320s at f/8. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 22, 2005

One from the archives - this is a cactus flower image that I took when the wildflowers around southern Arizona were in spectacular bloom in April of this year. This image was taken with my Canon A75, lens focal length 5mm (37mm equivalent in 35mm) with auto exposure giving 1/200s at f/5.6. This flower was found along the Kings Canyon trail in the Tucson Mountains west of Tucson, along the loop near the Gould Mine. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 21, 2005

This is an image from our recent North Rim trip of a small cabin and old fence and cattle chute not far from Crazy Jug Point. Converted from color with Irfanview. My Canon 20D was set to ISO 400 with my 24mm lens set at f/8. Exposure was 1/80 seconds. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The 2nd of pictures today of Horseshoe Bend - this is a panorama generated from 5 original images taken in vertical format with my 24mm lens, camera set to ISO 100, exposure 1/250s at f/8 in each component exposure. I used Panorama Factory to stitch the images together. The original panorama is 28.6 Megapixels compared to 8.2 MP for the single 18mm image - it has been compressed more for this blog, however, so may seem smaller. Posted by Picasa

The first of two images today - this is a single image obtained with the kit lens, 18-55mm zoom set to 18mm f.l. with the camera at ISO 400, the exposure is 1/250s at f/8. This is Horseshoe Bend in Glen Canyon just a few miles downstream of the Glen Canyon Dam and only a couple miles outside of Page. Compare this image to an assembled panorama which I'll upload as my next photoblog entry. Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 19, 2005

I took this photo a few minutes after the last image after the sun had crept a little farther above the horizon. The sun just after sunrise gives a magical color to the nearby point while the sun has not yet risen in the canyon below. Exposure was 1/25 sec at f/11, ISO 100 with the 24mm lens on my Canon 20D. Posted by Picasa

Sunrise on the North Rim. On July 24, I awoke before sunrise and found a spot not far from our campsite near Crazy Jug Point to watch the impending sunrise from. It was hard to expose a shot of the sky while watching such a wonderful scene in the Grand Canyon in front of me, but happily, I did anyway. This is just moments after the sun first broke the horizon. Using my 20D at ISO 100, this exposure is 1/125 sec at f/11 with my 24mm lens. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 18, 2005

And another from the same hike - these guys were bugging us all the time we sat around in the little canyon and after almost 2 hours, I realized that they'd make a great target for some more macro tests! This exposure is 1/320 at f/11 with the lens in macro mode at 300mm. Camera was set to ISO 800. Posted by Picasa

From the same hike as the picture yesterday, testing the macro mode on my 70-300mm Sigma lens. This image is of the flower of a Barrell Cactus, lens set to 300mm, exposure 1/640 at f/11, camera set to ISO 1600 - I wanted enough depth of field to get the whole flower in focus. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I took my first hike with my new Canon 20D on May 14, just 2 days after I got the camera. We hiked up in Madera Canyon to a small waterfall that I've always enjoyed and found this Damselfly enjoying this shadey spot. This exposure was 1/400 seconds at f/11 with my 20D set to ISO 800 using a 70-300mm Sigma zoom lens in macro mode at focal length 300mm. The eyes appear out of focus, but are not - their spherical shape makes the reflections of the sky look out of focus. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

More lightning from the same storm over the Florida fire in the Santa Ritas on July 16. This bolt hit in Josephine Saddle - a favorite hiking destimation of ours. Watching this fire ravage one of our favorite parts of southern Arizona was difficult, but a recent hike to the summit of Mt. Wrightson made it painfully obvious that the area was in need of a fire to burn out the accumulated fuels in the area and hopefully this fire did that. This exposure was 10 seconds at f/2.8, ISO 400 with my 24mm lens on my Canon 20D. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 15, 2005

A continuation of the theme of the previous image - the Florida fire in the Santa Ritas continued to burn and I got this image on the night of July 16th during a lightning storm. This time exposure caught a pair of bolts hitting in the mountains, one lights up the smoke in Madera Canyon and both light up the clouds above. The fire also appears as orange hot spots on the western flank of the Santa Ritas. Mount Wrightson is the tallest peak near center, just left of the leftmost bolt while Mount Hopkins is just left of the rightmost bolt. You can just barely see the MMT telescope sitting at the summit of Mt. Hopkins. This is a 30 second exposure using my 24mm lens at f/4, ISO 400. Posted by Picasa

This image was taken on 2005 July 11 and shows the Florida fire which burned about 22,000 acres in the Santa Rita mountains south of Tucson. This was a 15 second exposure with a 24mm lens at f/1.8 with my Canon 20D set to ISO 1600. This camera and lens combination is great for taking astrophotos without having to track on the stars. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 14, 2005

This photo was taken from near Cape Royal on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon during our recent vacation there. You can see Angel Window in the upper right. This image was taken with my Canon 20D and 24mm lens. Posted by Picasa

Here's a sample picture to start off my photoblog, taken with a borrowed Pentax 67 medium format camera after a winter storm on Kitt Peak.

This is the first post in my photo blog. Before we get into any images, here's a bit of an introduction. My day (and night) job is as a Planetary Scientist, so a lot of my images revolve around observatories and telescopes. As a scientist, I have always been curious about the world (and Universe) around me. I love photographing landscapes as well as existing light scenes. Space is another fascination and watching Apollo moonlandings as a young boy influenced the path of my life ever since. I first picked up a camera about 30 years ago as a teenager, but it was a few years later before I started shooting pictures myself. As a Junior and Senior in High School, my folks had set up a darkroom and I started taking pictures and developing and printing them. I had a Canon EX Auto that my Dad gave me at that time and I used it until it was stolen when I was a Junior in college. I replaced it with a Pentax K1000 which taught me photography like only a manual camera can. I wore that camera out over the next 12 or 13 years. My friend David gave me a cheap Russian medium format TLR which gave me a taste of shooting medium format. I replaced that with a Yashicamat 124G medium format TLR. For snapshots, I shot a 35mm point and shoot camera. Using the Yashicamat taught me to take a lot more care in setting up and taking photographs given the limited number of images on each roll. I shot mostly transparency film with the Yashicamat and about the time I got my first digital point and shoot, the shutter on the Yashicamat broke. I've still got my folks darkroom equipment, but I haven't set it up and used it in probably about 10 years. I never had a really dark dark room in our current house and used changing bags and printed at night in a small bathroom that, thanks to a window, was never terribly dark. That and after hours of working in the tight space, it got hot and stuffy in the small room, even with the exhaust fan on.

My first digital camera was a Fuji Finepix 2650, a nice inexpensive point and shoot. I shot lots of pictures with it, but discovered its limitations far too quickly. It was slow, had limited shutter and aperture settings, and essentially no manual mode. In short, the camera controled me and the pictures I could take. After about 18 months with the camera, while out on a hike, I dropped the camera on the lens barrel, breaking it loose. I made due with the camera - holding the lens to the camera, but started looking seriously at its replacement. I really liked the higher end point and shoots like the Nikon 5400 and the Nikon 5700 and 8700s. I visited a Best Buy and compared the Nikon 8700 side by side with the Canon Powershot Pro1 and found I liked the feel of the Canon camera. I also visited a Ritz camera to examine the Nikon 8700 and the saleseman suggested I look at another camera that was close to the same price - he pulled a Canon Digital Rebel off the shelf. It took me a little while to warm to the idea and my budget was pushing me to cheaper cameras anyway, so in October 2004, I bought a Canon A75 which had 3.2 Megapixels and a manual exposure mode amongst other things. By the time I bought the A75, I had already found my dream camera - the Canon 20D, newly released in August 2004 by Canon. But alas, my budget was nowhere near that camera, so I was hoping maybe a Digital Rebel might somehow fit into my budget....

Finally in the spring of this year, we decided to refinance the house and pay off those lowsy credit cards and a few other things that were dragging us down, so I was able to pad the refinance amount a bit to include a budget for a digital SLR. I purchased a Canon 20D which arrived on May 12 of this year. I made sure to buy a 2 Gig Sandisk Ultra II CF memory card, an extra battery, a nice Bogen tripod and a pair of Sigma lenses. Needless to say, I've been really happy with this setup and as of today, just 3 months after receiving the camera, I've shot over 7400 images with it!