Sunday, October 31, 2010

Moon (reprise)

A nearly full moon for Halloween.

[EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM +2.0x - 800mm, f/11, ISO200, 1/250]
[Moon, 5/16/2008]

Taken on my to Jackson Hole Wyoming. First real use of the 100-400 with doubler.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Random Pic

[Olympus S810 - 7.4mm, f/8, ISO64, 1/200]
[Amber and Koal, Elevenmile reservoir, 7/28/2007]

Friday, October 29, 2010

Random Pics (Elk)

[EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM - 180mm, f/5, ISO200, 1/640]
[Elk, RMNP, 6/21/2008]

[EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM +2.0x - 800mm, f/11, ISO200, 1/100]
[Elk - Extreme Closeup, RMNP, 6/21/2008]

Elk at RMNP, at about the top of Trail Ridge Road. Uncropped. The closeup shows the nice furry velvet on the new antlers.

This was not a camping trip, it was just to exercise the new cameras (Canon 450D and Nikon D300).

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Moon

Since I posted Jupiter photos a few days ago, and it is getting close to Halloween, here is a photo from my first night shooting the moon (well, not if you count playing Hearts).

I only had a 300mm lens at this point...

[EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - 300mm, f/8, ISO200, 1/250]
[Moon, 5/13/2008]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Clouds on Fire

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 24mm, f/3.2, ISO200, 1/50]
[Home, 9/5/2010]

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 68mm, f/2.8, ISO400, 1/8]
[Home, 4/11/2010]

I don't appear to have many photos of Zipper. This one that looks like an ad for a cat scratcher, isn't terrible, and is likely the latest pic of Zipper. I was just playing around with my new lens.

It's an appropriate picture. This was one of her favorite places to snooze. On a bed of certified organic catnip.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunset Rain

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 43mm, f/3.5, ISO100, 1/50, cropped]
[Home, 6/2/2010]

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back in Time

[EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS - 30mm, f/4.5, ISO400, 1/125]
[Koal, Home, 5/8/2008]

This is the oldest picture I have from the Canon 450D, or as you Americans like to call it, the XSi.

It is picture number 0002 from the camera. Just a test shot, but the subject was good.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Poupon U

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 70mm, f/3.2, ISO400, 1/500, cropped]
[Endovalley, RMNP, 9/16/2010]

Friday, October 22, 2010


Tonight when letting Amber out before bed, I noticed that the sky was mostly cloudless, and that Jupiter was pretty much overhead. Looking at the moon, the atmosphere had a bit of moisture and haze in it, but I've been wanting to photograph Jupiter for days now. It wasn't the best viewing conditions, but I figured they were good enough for a first try. With my 400mm lens and doubler, f/11 is the brightest I could make it, and I was not sure I could find Jupiter in the viewfinder, or have much success tracking and focusing. Only one way to find out - try it!

It turned out that my experience tracking the moon with almost the same equipment (different tripod) had given me some mad skillz. Finding and tracking Jupiter was no problem. Focusing was a bit harder, but for the most part I managed ok.

The first picture here is an overexposed one of Jupiter. This is so I could get good exposure on Jupiter's moons. I do not know which ones are visible here. A guess would be the ones on the left are Io and Europa, and the one further away, on the right is Ganymede - though it could easily be Callisto. I have not been tracking orbits, so I would not bet on that being accurate.

[EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM +2.0x - 800mm, f/11, ISO400, 1/4]
[Jupiter's moons, 10/22/2010]

The second pic here is of Jupiter with a more reasonable exposure, trying to see the bands. They are plainly visible, but there is no detail or color coming through. On the one hand, I'm disappointed in the clarity, but on the other, I'm happy that I can at least see that there are bands.

Not too bad considering the viewing conditions and that I was using equipment meant for terrestrial photography.

[EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM +2.0x - 800mm, f/11, ISO200, 1/200]
[Jupiter, 10/22/2010]

Click on images for slightly larger views!

I'm Over Here!

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 70mm, f/3.2, ISO400, 1/500, cropped]
[Endovalley, RMNP, 9/16/2010]

RMNP Moraine - May 2010

Catching up on summer posts...

The first 'real' camping trip with the Airstream was to RMNP in the Moraine camp ground. We decided to go camping the week of memorial day - starting Monday - figuring that most people will be heading back home on Monday to go to work Tuesday. I could not find a camp site that looked good (on the reservation site) for all 3 nights (mon/tues/wed), so I picked 2 sites and moved after the first night.

Out first night was in site 247, and was actually better than I had expected. It was on the edge of the campground, so had no one bordering to the south. It had space for a path to a bus stop on the west side, which provided more space between us and the next campsite, but had the downside of more people walking by during the day.

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 32mm, f/3.5, ISO400, 1/1000]
[Moraine, RMNP, 5/30/2010]

After driving there, getting set up, and having a late lunch, we took the path to the bus stop to see where it went. We didn't know at the time that it went to the bus stop. It also went to a nice meadow that had plenty of critters grazing in it.

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 40mm, f/3.5, ISO400, 1/1600]
[Meadow, RMNP, 5/30/2010]

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 70mm, f/3.5, ISO400, 1/2500]
[Critter, RMNP, 5/30/2010]

We took dozens more pictures. Some of them more arty, some of them poorly composed. Some of them may end up being displayed as a random pic in the future.

Normally I try to document what we ate, how good it was, and if there were any issues encountered in the making, or if we discovered any camping tricks to make it easier or tastier. But, lucky for you, I have already forgotten what we had, so you are safe. For now.

Spending the first night in the trailer at altitude (2500 or so feet above the last test - and as later photos will show, there was still snow around), I expected it to be colder and at least just as uncomfortable as Bear Creek Lake Park. But it wasn't. It was cold. But, either it wasn't as cold, or being under the weather before really affected the comfort level. The trailer handled 2 people and one large blind dog overnight without any significant issues.

In the morning, I got up a little early, and poked my head outside the trailer to see...

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 43mm, f/4.5, ISO400, 1/20, crop]
[Critters, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

Venturing a few yards behind the trailer...

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 70mm, f/2.8, ISO400, 1/100]
[Bambi, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

Since I saw Bambi, and the trailer is an Airstream Bambi, it was time to attempt a beauty shot. Ellie in the morning light with the moon above...

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 24mm, f/2.8, ISO400, 1/320]
[Ellie, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

Day 2, and we got to move to site 97, which we changed to 98, because it was vacant and nicer. Packing up and moving the trailer was easy peasy compared to when I moved the tent last year.

After the breakfast that I cannot bore you with the details of, we decided to take a hike to a lake. Or, rather drive to a lake that was not too much of a hike to get to from the parking lot. Referencing a map, Sprague Lake won the honor. It was a small, peaceful lake that looked nicer than the pictures...

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 24mm, f/2.8, ISO400, 1/3200]
[Sprauge Lake, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

While we were there, I took dozens of shots trying to capture a yellow bird that flicked in and out of the brush. It refused to stay still for more than a half second.  The birder thought it might be some sort of semi rare bird, but I have no clue what it is. Click on the picture to actually see it...

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 70mm, f/3.2, ISO400, 1/800]
[Bird at Sprauge Lake, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

A view from the other side...

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 24mm, f/8, ISO400, 1/1000]
[Sprauge Lake, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

That evening, the sky cleared up enough for Mr. Dave to get his telescopes out to show a few tricks. It was good viewing for Saturn - the rings were clearly visible. Like a toothpick through an olive. Then they split a binary star (can't remember the name). To the naked eye, it looks like a single star, but put a telescope on it and you can see both stars. Unfortunately neither of us had an adapter to connect the telescope to a camera.

I did pull out the tripod and experiment with a few shots. Here is one where I was trying to get as many (dim) stars as possible in the shot - that is why the brighter stars are way over exposed. The rest of the sky is gray because of the light pollution coming from Estes Park. It's way way less light pollution than Denver/Golden, but not good enough for really nice pictures. This is a 30 second exposure, so that is why the stars are lines instead of dots. Some little known phenomena called the rotation of the Earth.

I stuck the tree in frame for 'perspective'. That, or I thought it was neato.

[EF50mm f/1.4 USM - 50mm, f/1.4, ISO800, 30]
[Stars, RMNP, 5/31/2010]

Click on the pic for a much larger one. You can see a lot more stars. The thing I think is cool is that the photo shows that there are quite a variety of star colors. The eye receptors that we use for low light do not discern color, so the night sky looks black and white to the naked eye.

Day 3 was a lazy relaxing day. Didn't do much. Went to the Alluvial Fan and Endovalley. Snapped pics there and at the camp site. Here are a few...

[EF50mm f/1.4 USM - 50mm, f/3.2, ISO400, 1/1000]
[Ellie kitchen, Moraine, RMNP, 6/1/2010]

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 24mm, f/5.0, ISO400, 1/2500]
[Mr. Dave, Alluvial Fan, RMNP, 6/1/2010]

[EF-S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM - 10mm, f/22.0, ISO400, 1/200]
[Bridge, Alluvial Fan, RMNP, 6/1/2010]

A place to sit at the beach...

[EF-S10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM - 22mm, f/4.5, ISO100, 1/1600]
[Bench, Alluvial Fan, RMNP, 6/1/2010]

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 24mm, f/22, ISO200, 1/8]
[Endovalley, RMNP, 6/1/2010]

A little texture:

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 70mm, f/4.5, ISO100, 1/100]
[Pine cone carpet, Moraine, RMNP, 6/1/2010]

Not my best work today, but hopefully not terrible. I have more arty ones from today that may show up later as random pics.

Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment if you'd like.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

You Talkin' ta Me?

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 70mm, f/3.2, ISO400, 1/500, cropped]
[Endovalley, RMNP, 9/16/2010]

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Say 'Ello to My Li'el Friend

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 70mm, f/3.2, ISO400, 1/500, cropped]
[Endovalley, RMNP, 9/16/2010]

Whatja expect? Isn't my little friend cute!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It's 9:45 on September 29th. All is quiet. Except the TV. And the wife at the Mac Mini. But that's upstairs. So all is quite. Right, except for the TV, because that was in the same room.

Boom! The house shakes. Not a little. A lot. Really. It felt like someone threw a grand piano from the second floor to the first. And we have vaulted ceilings, so they probably tossed it up, over the railings to give it more of a chance to build up some good momentum.

No, no, that just doesn't seam probable, as we have no grand piano on the second floor, let alone anywhere in the house. Better check and see what ginormously hugantic object caused such a thing. Sounded like it came from the billiard room, or the lounge. Those rooms are ok. Better look out the 2nd floor window in that direction...

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 27mm, f/2.8, ISO1600, 3/10]
[plus some lighting adj in Photoshop. It was night time.]

Wow. That's not a little fire. It's a block away, and I can hear screaming and yelling. And more explosions! Attempting to dial 911 resulted in a busy signal. So I figured they already knew about it. Other than the people that might have been hurt in the blast, I was not too worried - there is a fire station walking distance away.

But, apparently this fire station is nick named the retirement home. They don't move particularly fast. As I watched it burn higher and brighter, no sign of a fire truck. Eventually we hear and saw lights and siren. Fire truck? No. Police car. Wait more. Add a little more wait to that, because we just haven't yet spent enough time doing nothing while the house burns. More lights, sirens. Another police car. Followed in (relatively) short order are more lights and sirens. Yay! Finally a fire truck!

After they get things (more or less) under control, we headed over there to gawk, er, I mean help. Oh, uh, yeah, I had it right the first time. They had the area taped off just far enough away that with the fact that it was night time and smokey, we couldn't really see anything. The bad news was that the house was a complete write off, and it lit a neighbor's house on fire. The good news is that the neighboring house only took minimal damage, and that there were no injuries beyond abrasions and smoke inhalation.

On the way back, a half block away, we noticed the police and fire personnel had taped off a spot on the other sidewalk where apparently some shrapnel from the explosion(s) had fallen. Glad no one was hurt from that too.

According to the news, the cause of the fire was an exploding oxygen tank. I would not have thought that would cause that kind of concussion a full block away. And what were those other (smaller) explosions that followed?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not Before, Not After,

During. I keep forgetting to take 'before' pictures, and the gate has not been completed yet for an 'after' shot, so here is a 'during' shot:

[10/16/2010 - hand held, and, uh, forgot to focus]

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another 'Random' Pic

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 27mm, f/3.2, ISO100, 1/800, 9/16/2010]

OK, it's not random. It's another shot from the trip up Old Fall River Road. A stand of aspens on a switchback. Enjoy.

Autumn Evening

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 32mm, f/3.5, ISO200, 1/2000, 10/17/2010]

The trees in the neighborhood to the north are looking colorful, so I snapped a shot. Not award winning, but it's the view from the back of the house.

Looking though the recent posts [Recent? Waddaya mean recent? The only thing recent here is dust!], I see that I am missing several updates.

On the camping front, after Bear Creek Lake Park, there was RMNP (Moraine) at the end of May, Lake Granby (Stillwater) in July, Turquoise Lake (Molly Brown, near Leadville) in September, and RMNP (Moraine) again a week later. The prior post with the pic was from the Sept RMNP trip.

On the home front, there was the house that blew up a block away (picture forthcoming). The home repairs/upgrades include new siding on the north wall of the house (to fix a leak coming in to the kitchen). New roof, gutters, and gutter screens. New counter top, sinks, faucets, and mirrors in the 2nd floor main bath (most of which was purchased about 2 years ago...) - still in progress. New brick columns, a short brick wall, and a wooden gate to replace the wooden gate that has been broken for the better part of a decade (gate was too heavy for the hinges, and bent them) - still in progress.

On the pet front, I don't think that I mentioned that the oldest cat we had, Zipper, got too old and moved along, at about 20 or 21 years. We entered 2010 with 4 cats and 2 dogs. Hopefully we won't end 2010 with less than 2 cats and 1 dog. Amber, the amazing blind diabetic dog did finally get cataract surgery in July. So now she is merely Amber, the not as amazing mostly blind diabetic dog. She is much happier now, being able to see some. I was expecting better sight, but I am happy that she is happier.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

RMNP Random Pic - Fall River Road

[EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM - 24mm, f/5, ISO100, 1/800, hand held]

Solar Flares. :P