Early this morning @ 2:33am, I was finally able to find the Comet Lulin. By that time it was very high in the sky — almost directly over head. It was very difficult to aim and follow with my telescopic focal length. But the near zenith position offered a pleasant surprise: diminished contamination from Earth based light pollution.
I stacked 10 images to build up the density of the comet and partially eliminate the high ISO noise. Even wide open at f/2.8, my exposure was 2 seconds at ISO 6400. My particular setup demonstrated some terrible banding artifacts. (So much for the “miracle sensor” in the D3.) The darkened edges (brightened center) are a demonstration of the light fall off characteristics of my lens “wide open”.
We were out shooting the sunset yesterday; that kinda fizzled. Good thing the moon was bright! After dinner we head East, for the sea cliffs near Bamboo Ridge. I managed to get some nice art school, flash back, photos. But the photo above was my favorite! The only thing missing is a hot Race Queen
Happy new year everyone! Yeah, I know it’s rather late. It is frikken February already! What can I say, I’ve been preoccupied. ;)
In keeping with my tardy theme, I present to you, one of the photos I captured the week after Xmas. I am sure everyone will remember that particular night — it was the night of the Oahu-wide power black out. We were photographing Honolulu Hale and cheering each time the lightning flashed. In hindsight that was pretty dumb… :|
“Hope springs eternal” … Things may seem to be pretty bad lately. (Not to be a total downer but they ARE going to get worse.) I have hope however. The new year is just around the corner. With it comes new opportunities (as long as you are looking for them — heads up). I am very hopeful for my own little slice of life. :) I plan to do more traveling and portfolio building in 2009, so please keep an eye out for those posts and galleries.
Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) and best wishes to all in the new year! (^_^)V
The moon was full last night. But due to less than “ideal” viewing, I decided to take a departure from my standard documentary astronomy. The air was very still. (“Kona weather” is what we call it.) As a result there was a continuous layer of patchy clouds that lingered, long after moonrise. In addition, the vog –from increased Kilauea activity– wrapped everything in a haze. However, all that moisture and particulate matter –combined with the light of the full moon– made for a most incredible nebulous effect of light, color, and texture.
This second image is my favorite from last night’s departure. The color and texture of the clouds on the bottom edge captivate me. (Reason for my repositioned watermark — the original image orientation is vertical.) I just couldn’t bring myself to cover up the most interesting part of my composition. Although, after looking at it for a while, I think I will crop the top edge a little. ;-)
Happy Independence Day! I hope everyone had a good holiday. There were a bunch of pyrotechnic displays all over the island of Oahu tonight. The biggest, I believe, was at Ala Moana Beach Park. I knew the crowd would be silly big though. So I decided to stay close to home and watch the fireworks over Pearl Harbor instead.
Unfortunately, I had no details on where the display was going to launch from. I guessed it would originate on Ford Island. As you can see from my photo above: I guessed wrong. ;-( I setup between the Arizona Memorial visitors center and the Bowfin Sub Museum…prime viewing was closer to Fleet HQ or on the flight deck of that Carrier. Anyone know which Carrier is docked here? I didn’t get the shot I wanted but I can’t complain–I got to watch for free after all. (Then again…does anyone know if our tax dollars pay for stuff like this???)
:-D Have a great weekend everyone!
So on the night of the lunar eclipse I decided to compose my shot from Waialae Beach Park. I thought Maunalua Bay in the foreground and the eclipsed moon rising (over Koko Head) in the background would have made a rather picturesque composition. Decent idea in theory but in practice, Mother Nature bested me. (She will every time.) Below is the best image of the lunar eclipse that I managed to capture.
As you can see, the bank of clouds, sitting low on the horizon, did most of the “eclipsing”. In hindsight, if I had traveled a little further east; set up my position near Bamboo Ridge, Makapuu, or up on Kamehame Ridge — the lunar eclipse photos might have been more successful. *SIGH* C’est La Vie!
While waiting for: 1) the clouds to clear or 2) the Moon to rise above them, I managed a brief time lapse sequence. Pardon the letter boxing. When I realized the time it would take for the moon to clear the cloud bank, I decided to recomposed the camera for a verticle shot. (Bad for widescreen movies but much better for prints. Deep down, I am still a print maker.) You can see how the cloud bank did the uncanny and followed the Moon’s rising path for practically all of the eclipse. This phenomenon continued well into the night. Only after I had packed in the gear and started driving home (about 8 pm) did the Moon break free of the cloud cover. I could have easily stopped and resumed photographing. But by that time the surrounding sky was way too dark and the full Moon far too bright for the composition that I had envisioned. Next time.
My evening at Waialae Beach was not a total waste though. Wisely, I had arrived on site before the sun was down and captured a couple of nice panoramas while waiting for (the ill fated) moon rise.
No ground breaking photos were captured that night. But I have to admit: simply being there to witness was reward enough. In retrospect it was an incredibly grounding experience. Mother Nature reminded me what was real and important
. The sand between my toes, wind in my hair, clean air in my lungs, sun and
moon beams on my face…I am fortunate to be where I am. I’ll leave you with that thought and this image. (The last one I captured that night.)