To My Facebook Friends and Followers

•August 28, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Many of my Facebook friends and followers are not seeing my posts. I can tell from the statistics that Facebook provides. If you want to follow a page on Facebook, it is more or less hit or miss as to whether you see the posts from that page.  This is because the programming in Facebook is calculated to limit how many people see a post from a page. The reason for this is that want page owners to PAY for wider distribution.

If you want to follow my Facebook page, you can set it so that my posts will appear at the top of your newsfeed whenever you log on to Facebook. It’s easy as illustrated below.

Hopefully you have “Liked” my Facebook page but if not, please do so. Then, hover your mouse over the “Liked” button and you will see a drop down menu. Click on “See First” and that’s all there is to it.

Hover your mouse over the "Liked" button and click on "See First".

Return to North Dakota

•August 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment
Rolette County, North Dakota, May, 2010

Rolette County, North Dakota, May, 2010

Yes! In a little over a week, I am returning to North Dakota! It’s been five years since I was there last and I am getting excited.

I will be participating in another Tillman Crane Photography workshop photographing abandoned farms, participating in an exhibit in the Prairie Village Museum, and generally enjoying the fellowship of a great group of photographers.

Once the group activities are done, I will be striking out on my own to discover other parts of North Dakota down into South Dakota and where ever the spirit will draw me. I’m still researching where I will go. Of course, once I am there, everything could change as I find unexpected wonders.

Stay tuned for more and if you want to follow my adventures please sign up to follow this blog (Enter your email address in the box in the upper right corner of this page to receive an email whenever I post something new.) or “Like” my Facebook page.

If you have already “Liked” my Facebook page, you can ensure you will see the posts by following the simple procedures here: Controlling Facebook.

 

Pittsburgh Street Art

•August 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment

The Milky Way from My Back Yard

•August 17, 2015 • Leave a Comment

While I was out looking for meteors, I also tries a few other more conventional shots.

Looking almost straight overhead and a little west, I could see the Northern Cross, which lies along the plane of the Milky Way. Due to the high level of light pollution I couldn’t quite make out the Milky Way but a 25 second exposure shows a hint of structure in the star fields. I used the Olympus EM5 MK=II with the Olympus 12mm f/2.0 at f/2.8 at ISO 1600.

Using Lightroom to darken the sky I was able to get much better definition to the Milky Way background. the new “dehaze” feature in Lightroom helped a lot.

While these results are not nearly as good as I have seen elsewhere, they were a good experiment in using the camera for this kind of image. I’m hoping to find some really dark skies when I go to North Dakota next month.

(You haven’t heard I’m going back to ND? Well, I am! And excited about it! Stay tuned!)

While Looking for Meteors …

•August 14, 2015 • Comments Off on While Looking for Meteors …

The previous post showed the sky after I captured about 15 minutes of start trails and a few meteor trails.

While the camera was set up I wanted to try a straight single exposure to capture that area of sky to see what could be seen of the constellations.

This was the same camera setup with a single 20 second exposure at f/2.8. As mentioned before, there is a lot of light pollution so only the brightest stars are visible. I did a little work in Lightroom to increase the contrast. Still, Cassiopeia is visible in the upper left quadrant. Part of Andromeda is also visible, which upon careful examination, yields another interesting object. See if you can see it. You might do better if you click on the image to look at a larger version. It’s hard to see in this image but you can make it out if you know just where to look.

 

Just to make it easier, here’s a crop from the full image:

There, in the center is the famed Andromeda Galaxy (M31). Amazing what these small digital cameras can do!

Olympus Live Composite and Perseids Meteors

•August 13, 2015 • Comments Off on Olympus Live Composite and Perseids Meteors

Last night was the annual peak of the Perseids meteor shower. I have never tried to capture a meteor with a camera but the word was that with the moon close to the “new” phase and mostly clear skies, the conditions would be ideal for this year’s event.

It was also a chance to try out the “live composite” mode on my Olympus EM5 MKII. It turns out that this amazing technology really makes this kind of thing easy. Live composite originally came in a bit under the radar as a firmware update for the Olympus EM-1 and then was included as a standard feature on the EM5 II. Basically, it records a series of exposures of a duration you specify as if you had taken them one right after another. Then it blends them into a single image. But the amazing thing is that once you make the first exposure, it only increases the exposure when a new source of light appears in the scene. The means that you can record for about as long as you want without overexposing the original scene.

Of course, if you’re capturing a series of images of the night sky, the stars are moving (in relation to the camera) as the earth rotates so the stars will be rendered as star trails. But in the process, if a meteor (or an aircraft) goes through the scene, it will be recorded over top of the star trails.

Well, that was a long introduction to the one good shot that I got last night after fighting to stay awake and sitting out on the deck until after 2:00 am.

I you look carefully you can see four meteor trails. The bright curved streak is an aircraft that flew through the shot.

This was a series of 20 second exposures at f/2.8 over about 15 minutes. ISO was set to 1600. The lens was the Olympus 12mm f/2 prime (equivalent to 24mm on a 35mm camera) and the raw file was processed with Adobe Lightroom. The image above was also cropped from the full image.

To give you an idea of what kind of light pollution we have around here, this is the image straight out of the camera.

Point Lookout, Oldtown, MD

•August 7, 2015 • Comments Off on Point Lookout, Oldtown, MD

One of the more spectacular views of the Potomac can be had from “Point Lookout”, upstream from Little Orleans in Allegany County, Maryland. The lookout can be found on Carrol Road just off Orleans – Oldtown Road. (Map)

I found it on one day last October from directions I received while having lunch at Bill’s Place in Little Orleans. The road is not the greatest but it was still accessible with my Prius. (Tip: If you go there, it’s best to go back out the way you came through Orleans rather than try to go the other way to Oldtown.)

IMG_1514-Edit2

If you would like to purchase a print of any of these images, please email me.

 
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