Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Meteor Light Show: The 2010 Geminids

The Geminid Meteor Shower may well have been 2010's very best! How many meteors do you see? And notice the meteor radiant around the constellation Gemini?

It took until around 3 am, but the clouds finally parted and we did indeed get to enjoy a beautiful Christmas meteor light show as it were. My preferred dark skies location with a nice foreground got completely clouded out and we ended up near Tie Siding Wyoming. I stayed out taking pictures until the morning twilight was killing off too many stars and we got home around 6 am. What a kick!

Shot Notes: This is a composite image of all the meteors I captured between 2:56 a.m. and 3:34 a.m. Each streak is added by lightness blending mode in CS5 much like star trails stacking is done. The camera was locked down on the tripod the entire time weighted by a bag of rocks to protect against the crazy wind. Each exposure was for 24 seconds at f/3.5, ISO 2500. 13 exposures were used in the composite (this time series was a total of 73 exposures). The camera was aimed at the meteor shower radiant to get the most Geminids possible in order to show off how aligned meteors of the same shower really are.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Pike's Peak Cog Railway at 14,115 Feet (4300+ m)

I think I can, I think I can... ;-)))

This historic railway has been in service for over 100 years and holds the title for highest cog railway in the world. At it's top point it offers exceptional views from the summit of Pike's Peak (where this image was taken). It is an Abt rack system cog railway that is now operated year-round much to the delight of railroad fans and tourists alike.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Four Minutes of West Creek Falls

I have always enjoyed the almost ethereal surreal qualities a long exposure can pull out of a scene. A ten-stop B+W neutral density filter allowed me to leave my shutter open for over four minutes here thanks to very overcast conditions.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2010 Perseid Meteor Shower Composite

This composite image features the meteors from the Perseids that I caught in roughly an hour of shooting time last Thursday night near peak viewing. You can clearly see the meteors are all traveling along the same line from the Perseid radiant (located near the "Double Star Cluster" of Perseus), a hallmark of meteor showers.

Shot Notes: I set up in Teller County, CO at the Dome Rock State Wildlife Area parking lot. Light pollution was pretty strong but I still managed to have a fun night out! I shot a total of 207 frames at 3200 ISO, f/3.2, 17 seconds for this series. The composite was constructed from 9 of those shots. Two frames provided a bit of foreground illumination/interest via two passing car's headlights and the rest featured the seven meteors you see here. I caught other meteors but they are not included due to likely not being a Perseid or being obscured by clouds. With luck I will upload a time-lapse video and you all can see the clouds and light pollution I was contending with. ;-)))

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lake Agnes in Evening Sunshine

Lake Agnes in Evening Sunshine, originally uploaded by Fort Photo.

This classic cirque lake is located just below the Continental Divide in Colorado State Forest near Cameron Pass. Rising behind Lake Agnes is Mt. Richthofen, the tallest member of the Never Summer Range at 12,940 feet. Richthofen rises on the NW corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. The south and east faces are in the park. The north and west faces are in the Colorado State Forest. Such a amazing area!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Milky Way Trails Above Purgatoire Canyon

The Caprock Canyonlands area in SE Colorado offers some of the best night sky in the state for viewing the Milky Way. The color of the star streaks relate to the temperature of the star, with blue being the hotter and red the cooler overall.

Image Notes: For this star trails image I used 195 consecutive 30 second (97.5 mins worth) exposures stacked via brightness blending mode in PS. Then an image I light-painted was used for foreground detail, manually blended via luminosity and hand-painted masks. This shot was taken very near the location of my previous posting, only the angle was adjusted to keep the Milky Way in center at the start of the series.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sundown at Running Deer Natural Area

Fort Collins is truly blessed with a plethora of natural areas open to the public to explore. It's nice that basically right in the middle of town we still have places like this for inspiration (and photography!).

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Flying Nectar Faery

Flying Nectar Faery, originally uploaded by Fort Photo.

A Black-chinned Hummingbird hovers near a nectar feeder at my sister's place in southern Colorado last summer.

Strobist Notes: used 4 flashes positioned around the area I was expecting action in order to get the most detail. Once that was set up it was simply a matter of cracking open a beer and sitting on my sister's porch with a view waiting for things to happen. I sometimes think bird photography is my version of fishing. ;-)))

Friday, January 08, 2010

Looking Towards Lunar Laguna Beach

The Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Panhandle amazed me with its tropical blue waters and white sugar sand beaches. Here's a view from near Camp Helen State Park looking towards Panama City, FL. Ahhh, moonshine. ;-)))