Las Palomas

The House of Doves (A.K.A. Casa de las Palomas) in the Maya ruins of Uxmal has one face that tends to be shown in tourist brochures and online photos.  This is the other (north) face:

Las Palomas

When I last visited, the structure was getting a bit of touch-up work done (thus, the scaffolding you can faintly see in the left of this photo).  I think it’s a very photogenic structure regardless — even on the less-pretty side and with scaffolding in full view.

A visit to Rifle Falls

As I may have mentioned previously, we bought a camping trailer earlier this year.  So since camping is now a lot more comfortable for us than it used to be, we’ve been taking advantage of it to spend time in a lot of places we’ve not been to before.  So it was that we spent a weekend in Rifle Gap State Park, on the west side of Colorado.

Three Amigos

We honestly didn’t go into this trip knowing a lot about the park — we primarily thought it’d be a nice, quiet place to spend an otherwise hot August weekend.  The camp site itself was clean and well-maintained, if lacking in trees to slow the wind.  But not that far away from the Rifle Gap campsites is their sister park, Rifle Falls State Park — a real hidden gem of the Colorado State Park system. Continue reading

Looking down on Long Beach

Long Beach, Long Island, New York — as seen from 35,000 feet above:

Looking down on Long Beach

If you were curious, those dark lines converging toward the horizon are the shadows of clouds and haze in the atmosphere, and are officially called anticrepuscular rays.  A little nugget for everybody’s vocabulary…

Olympus E-M1, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lens at 22mm
ISO 200, f/5.0, 1/800 sec.

Back-button focusing on the Olympus E-M1II, revisited

Anybody that’s had an Olympus digital camera in recent years can attest to the fact that they are highly customizable.  Possibly, almost too customizable.

So I’ve gotten into the habit of revisiting my custom settings a few times a year, just to fold in what I’ve learned about a given camera model through use, and to see what improvements I can make for my personal style of shooting.  And of course, there is plenty of user-generated information out on the internet, so it’s good to give yourself an opportunity to learn from new things other people have learned and written about (personally, I’m a big fan of and

So in my last sweep of the E-M1II’s custom settings, I thought it was about time to revisit how I handled back-button focusing.  As I mentioned in a previous post some months back, this is easy to do with a custom “MySet.”  And commenters pointed out that by setting “Mode 2” for the camera’s back lever (a.k.a. the Fn Lever), two separate sets of focusing settings could be easily managed.  But unfortunately, Fn Lever Mode 2 just “captures” three things — focus mode, focus target shape, and focus target location.  So you can use it to switch between auto-focus and manual focus easily, but you still don’t get back-button focus from it, at least not with this one setting alone.

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Corona, revisited

I’ll admit, I’m new to solar eclipse photography, much less to post-processing of solar eclipse images — so I’ll freely admit to being on a learning curve here.  My previous post contained an image put together from 7 photographs, using some commercial HDR software.  Subsequently, I found two helpful videos on how to do a similar thing using Photoshop (and it’s a pretty quick process, too) — here are my results:

Corona, revisited

This took a bit longer to produce, but I like the results better.  Your thoughts?

Back from eclipsing

So we recently returned from a weekend trip to witness the 2017 total solar eclipse.  Long story there, when I get the chance to write it up — but the bottom line is that we successfully made it to a spot of land with clear skies, and even our teenager was impressed.  I’ve been tinkering around with various approaches for processing my photos (most HDR software has trouble with totality photos), here’s the first corona HDR image I’m mostly satisfied with:

Corona, 2017

FWIW, this was made from 7 stacked images using Aurora HDR 2017 software.