Friday, October 23

VoilĂ ! Meteor!

I was out in Joshua Tree National Park with some pals for the Orionid Meteor Shower. We were hoping to capture some meteors in pixels. It's a hit and miss proposition - lots of frames, not many meteors..
When I got home - what do you know?  I had a full color Orionid in Orion!
Be sure to click the picture to view an enlarged image.

Friday, October 9

Joshua Tree Scout Trip

Some shots from our scouting trip in Joshua Tree National Park.

Our camp in White Tank (above and below)

Mini Star Trails

Wednesday, October 7

Monarchs To Be?

When you plant milkweed as Janet did in the spring, you may find caterpillars, as Janet did this morning.

We counted five striped slinkies munching on milkweed this morning and they seem to match the pictures on the Monarch website.

We should have looked for eggs (as Douglass would). But now we'll keep an eye out for chrysalises.

This fellow has on a different uniform.  Maybe it has not yet grown into the more vivid stripes.

Monday, September 28

Eclipse Night

Supermoon Eclipse Night turned out to be a little disappointing for local photographers and other lunatics as so much of the southwest experienced overcast skies. This disappointment was tinged with irony, of course, because we were all grateful for a little relief from high temperatures and because the skies were actually quite beautiful.

So many of us were looking forward to a clear view of the big Moon as it rose in penumbra (on the west coast any way). We'd all read Michael FryeNikon or other resources on how to capture the perfect time lapse series of the eclipse phases. I even caved in and got an intervalometer for precise timing. The dream shot just didn't "pan" out.

Just a Whisper of a Moon
I went to the top of Corral Canyon, way above Malibu. It is a great location where I had taken a Camera Committee group a while back. In the twilight, only a tiny edge of the Moon peeked out from behind the veil of clouds (as you can see here if you really look hard).

During the course of the evening, though, some interesting views came along. The shot at the top of this post for instance shows the Red Moon in full eclipse.

In spite of the clouds (and maybe because of them), what I enjoyed was priceless: a lovely couple of hours on a temperate evening on a mountain at the end of a gentle hike, the Moon above, the sea below.
Santa Monica Bay  
Then, I had a Moon-lit walk back through dreamland to the trailhead.

You can see additional photos and a couple of animated slideshows in my Supermoon Eclipse album.

Saturday, September 26

Mark Gee's Moonrise Silhouettes

Watch this:  photographer Mark Gee tells about the response to his Moonrise Silhouettes movie in this talk on the TED stage in Christchurch, New Zealand. 

The talk starts with his short moon movie, so you don't have to look for it if you haven't already seen it.  It is lovely.

Mark reminds us that the night sky is amazing and free for all. This evening (the day before a full moon) will be a good time to catch the almost-full moon rising in a lighted landscape (a little after 5:51 pm and look almost due east). The timing will depend on the height of your eastern horizon, of course. You may have to dodge buildings and trees to get a clear view.

And in case you've been sequestered from all social, public and commercial media for the last month or so, tomorrow there will be a supermoon in eclipse as it rises here in the west a little after 6:40 pm. That big moon will enter total eclipse at about 7:11 pm and will turn red in the Earth's shadow, hence the name Blood Moon. 

Should be quite a sight.

Tuesday, September 15

Rain day!

This was my view when I got up today.

Rain, soft and consistent, in a gentle shower; a welcome sight in Southern California. Then, I read the news: 2+ inches fell in Downtown last night. Rain pounded LA, the report said. No wonder my window sills were a mess.  Oh, yeah.

The morning commute was really a mess. Flooded freeways and neighborhood intersections. Petroleum-patina'd slick asphalt and mystified drivers. Lost raincoats. Frail, old umbrellas. Rain boots and rain coats on a 75° morning. I roll my eyes. There were also "swift-water" rescues in the Los Angeles River.  It's still a wild thing, our river.

Could this be a preview of things to come in an El Nino year? I hope the storm reminded folks to check their neighborhood storm drains and their own rain gutters; check and replace their wiper blades; find and exercise last years's umbrella and get their minds right about slick streets and slow commutes.

Then most importantly, remember to soak in that fresh rain smell, admire the raindrops climbing up your windshield, relish the dip in temperature and take a walk to look for charming reflections in puddles.

Keep your fingers crossed for more rainy nights and mornings.

Click this picture for more rain in our backyard

Sunday, August 30

Sharp and well-exposed

Moon over Cashio Street

I just wanted to demonstrate that I can produce a well-exposed and properly-focused image of the moon. This is one is severely cropped from a file made with my Sony Nex 5N and 18-200mm f3.5/6.3 lens