Monthly Archives: March 2013

Shooting Stars

Today’s blog image takes us back to Saturday night when we were attempting to spot the PAN-STARRS comet.  As I had reported in my previous blog post, we never did  see the comet but we did take the opportunity to capture some images of the night sky.  This star trails image, which I sort of think looks like a bunch of shooting stars, is one of those images.

I have done a number of star trail images before, but I can say that I am far from an expert. I still get excited when one comes out better than I expected when I start shooting.  This one is a great example, I was actually expecting all of the stars to arc in the same direction, but was thrilled when this one came out with arcs in two directions.

Posted in Photography

Under The Stars

Under The Stars

The night sky under the stars from Westport Washington


I have always been fascinated with the night sky, and the fact that even at night there can be a lot of light int he sky that simply can’t be seen with the “naked eye” but can be picked up photographically.  This scene is a great example.  I shot this out at Westhaven State Park near Westport Washington on Saturday night.  We had headed out to the coast to try to catch a glimpse of the comet PAN-STARRS that is currently visible in the night sky. While I was pointing the D600 at the western sky in hopes of capturing the comet, I pointed the D7000 to the southern sky.  This image, “Under The Stars,” is from the D7000 that was facing due south.

Unfortunately there were just enough clouds in the western sky, the edge of which you can actually see in this image, to prevent us from ever seeing the comet, but we still had a lot of fun out shooting.  I hope you enjoy the image, and as always, please click on it to see a larger version.

Posted in Photography

The Capitol State Forest in IR

Today’s blog post takes us to the Capitol State Forest just outside of Olympia.  This forest is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to spend time in the Olympia area.  It is a “working” forest which means that there is good access for people to be able to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.  You won’t find a lot of closed gates that unfortunately has become common in many parts of the country.  You will find people out target shooting and hiking.  You will come across active logging operations and you might even come across a photographer or two.

This image, while fairly close in perspective to a standard digital camera, is actually a 27 megapixel IR panorama that was created from 14 separate images from my super color IR Nikon D200.  I shot the frames hand-held and over lapped each shot by nearly 50% to make sure that I would get everything I wanted and that the software would have plenty of information to work with when stitching everything together.

I have blogged before about my love of IR photography but wanted to mention again how I love the way the world looks when viewed from a slightly different wavelength that is just a bit outside of what we humans can see with our eyes.  While everything in an IR image is recognizable, it presents itself in a way that is every so slightly alien.

I hope you enjoy this image as much as I do, and as always, please click on it to see a larger version.

I just found out that the embeddable link was broken most of the day.  SmugMug made some changes on the way that they do links but it has been corrected now.

Posted in IR photography

The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

Legend has it that there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.  If that is the case, someone must have beat me to this one as I could find the rainbow, but the pot of gold eluded me yet again.

This was shot the same evening as the storm cloud image I recently shared.  I captured this image of the rainbow from the Paseo Vista park in Chandler, which was a favorite location of mine when I lived there.  The “smoke” that you see in this image is actually not smoke, but steam coming from a power plant that was doing extra duty generating electricity to supply the demand created by the cold temps of the winter storm.  This storm actually produced snow in the Phoenix metro area.



Posted in StormChasing

The Grays Harbor Lighthouse Stairs

When I sat down to write this blog post my first thoughts were that I would write about the Grays Harbor Lighthouse and how it now sits about 3000 feet away from the high tide line and how it was only 400 feet when built. I also thought about writing about the “golden mean” and how it applies to art, but when all was said and done I decided to write about being a courteous photographer. The truth is, you can follow either of the links above to find out more information about either of those subjects than I could possible put into my little blog.

This image was captured from inside the base of the Grays Harbor Lighthouse and is shot straight up center of the spiral staircase that leads to the actual light. There are actually a number of things that are technically wrong with this image, and things that I would do differently if I would have had more time to shoot it, but as I said, this post is about being courteous as a photographer.

As you can imagine, the building at the base of the lighthouse is actually quite small, 3 or 4 people can fit in there, but any more than that and you will be close to the person next to you. When we shot there that afternoon there were actually 8 or 9 people visiting the site and all of them were wanting to get this same shot, the caretaker was actually quite helpful in assisting people with where they should stand for “the best shot” of the structure. While as a photographer it would have been so easy to jump into the space and start firing off brackets for an HDR, or to shoot the scene a dozen different ways, I really wanted to grab a quick shot or two and get the heck out of the way for the next person to get their shot. I live fairly close to this lighthouse, I can come back and shoot it pretty much any time I want, many of the people waiting for their shots traveled a pretty decent distance.

With all of that said, I don’t know if I will shoot this scene this way again. As I mentioned, there are a number of technical issues with this image, but I like it the way it came out. I could shoot a technically better image, but don’t know if I would actually get a better shot.

I always say to click on the image for a larger version or to order prints, but in this case I really hope you do click on it, I think this image presents so much stronger when it is a little larger than can be displayed here on the blog.

Posted in Photography