Harpers Ferry Hilltop Overlook

•February 26, 2020 • Comments Off on Harpers Ferry Hilltop Overlook

My outing last Sunday took me to the Hilltop Hotel overlook, which I love to visit on occasion. I am continuing to get to know the new (to me) Panasonic G3 infrared converted digital camera.

Up to this point the images have not been that obviously IR images because of the lack of green foliage. but this has picked some of the effect on the trees on the far side of the Potomac River.

Halltown Post Office

•February 25, 2020 • Comments Off on Halltown Post Office

The Halltown Post Office sits at the intersection of Route 230 (Shepherdstown Pike) and Halltown Road in Halltown, WV.

Image was captured with the Panasonic G3 infrared camera and processed with Lightroom and Photoshop. Because it is the middle of winter and the trees have no leaves, the most obvious characteristic of IR images is the rendering of green foliage as white.

Halltown, WV Chapel

•February 24, 2020 • Comments Off on Halltown, WV Chapel

The Halltown Union Colored Sunday School is tucked off Halltown Road off of Rt 340 in Halltown, West Virginia.  it is a quaint chapel that dates to 1901. It is currently existing in what Tillman Crane refers to as a “state of arrested decay.” That means that it could use a significant restoration, but it is being maintained so its condition will not deteriorate further.

The image was captured with my latest infrared converted camera, a Panasonic G3 micro 4/3 digital camera. It’s the fourth IR camera I have used and, like all of the previous cameras, I’m still learning it’s characteristics. Each one has had a slightly different filter and sensor. Also, the post processing tools have changed significantly. Lightroom and Photoshop both have upgraded graphic processing engines and the new Luminar 4 offers a different but effective approach. This image was started in Lightroom with a little bit of perspective correction and cropping, and then finished in Luminar.

Burnside Bridge Panorama

•February 8, 2020 • Comments Off on Burnside Bridge Panorama

Burnside Bridge Panorama

This view of the Burnside Bridge from the overlook shows the advantage the Confederate defenders had in the battle for this Antietam Creek crossing.

The image is a two frame stitched panorama taken with my new (to me) Panasonic G3 infrared converted camera.

Cloudy Day

•February 4, 2020 • 2 Comments

First time out in the new year. I was trying out the new (to me) Panasonic G3 infrared converted camera I picked up recently on eBay.

IR photography typically provides a fantasy-like rendition of color and tonal relationships. The most common and obvious is that green foliage is rendered white. In January, there isn’t much foliage and the effect is much more subtle. In this case there is very little that would give away the IR camera. The output of he camera is almost pure monochromatic in spite of the fact that the raw files have a strong red cast to them. But the workup in Lightroom and Photoshop with the new Luminar as a plug-in gave me the tools to massage the image to bring out the texture in the active sky.

iPhone Astrophotography

•January 7, 2020 • 1 Comment
Moon photograph by iPhone September 19, 2019

The Moon photographed with iPhone and 120mm refracting telescope, September 19, 2019.

In a text message the other day a friend mentioned a new product to marry smartphones with telescopes. I remembered that I had dabbled with that recently so I found the image and worked it up for presentation here. I used a phone attachment accessory that cost something under $20.

The product my friend alerted me below is much more sophisticated and much more expensive, but really makes me curious about how it works

Shooting the Stars

•April 10, 2019 • Comments Off on Shooting the Stars

Last night I attended the meeting of the Jefferson County Photography Club in Charles Town. John Kracke presented some images and discussion about photographing stars and star trails, even under local light polluted skies. He offered some interesting ideas and inspired me to go back into my archives to see what I had.

Dark skies are one of the things that people say are essential for this kind of work and I had the good fortune to have some great dark skies in North Dakota when I was there in 2015.

People have seen my “Milky Way over Tunbridge, North Dakota” but during that shooting session I captured a few others that have been sitting on the hard drive for three and a half years. After going back and finding these, I really want to do more!

(Click on the image to see a larger version)

September is a great time to photograph the Milky Way in the Northern Hemisphere. Technical: Olympus EM-5 MkII, M.Zuiko 12mm f/2 lens; ISO 1600, 25 seconds @ f/2.

 

This image, with slightly different framing shows one of the most dense concentration of stars in the Milky Way. This was captured at ISO 3200. That extra stop of exposure enhanced the incredible cloud of starts near the center of our galaxy. Technical: Olympus EM-5 MkII, M.Zuiko 12mm f/2 lens; ISO 3200, 25 seconds @ f/2.

 

Just above and to the left of center is the great galaxy M31, glowing in the midst of the star field. Amazing to be able to capture it with a small digital camera and a “normal” lens. Technical: Olympus EM 5MkII, Panasonic-Leica 25mm f/1.4; ISO 3200, 15 seconds @ f/1.6.

 
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