Star trails and Perseids

The Perseid meteor shower had its peak a few days ago (late August 12 / early August 13 in North America), and since I both live in an urban area (bright night skies) and had cloudy weather that night, missed out on what must have been a good show.

But as luck would have it, we own a small bit of land in southern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains — a dark sky sort of place — and I’d already planned on traveling down for the weekend to do some maintenance work.  So, I thought I should try to capture some lagging Perseids the night of the 13th / 14th — here’s my first shot from the series:

Crowded skies

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The feeling of falling

For your weekend relaxation — a view of Montmorency Falls, near Quebec City, Quebec, Canada:

The feeling of falling

As waterfalls go, Montmorency is both photogenic and easy to get to, if you’re in the neighborhood (it’s a relatively short jaunt off a nearby highway).  Some thoughts, though, should you be planning a trip to Quebec City: Continue reading

Bouquet of colors

We recently took a family trip to Montreal and Boston — so along with other things, it gave me a chance to put Olympus’ (relatively recent) “Live Composite” mode to work on Boston’s Independence Day fireworks.

For those of you unfamiliar with this, “Live Composite” is a feature of their OM-D cameras that allows you to do something like a long exposure — but without the usual risk that brings of overexposing parts of the image.  You set up your exposure settings, start “Live Comp,” then it only updates a part of the image if it has become brighter than before — so you wind up collecting sort of a “high water mark” for each pixel / color.

It’s easier to use than I’ve described it, as for the results, you can see for yourself:

Bouquet of colors

This was my first real experience with Live Composite — I’ll definitely be writing more about it in the coming weeks…

Scenes from a Colorado overflight

We recently did a bit of family travel — on our way from Denver to Phoenix, we were fortunate enough to have relatively clear skies and a late afternoon flight.  Perfect for some aerial twilight photography of various spots in Colorado and the four corners region of the U.S.

First up for you, Colorado Springs (top of frame) seen over the snow covered Rampart Reservoir, not far west of town.

Over the Rampart

Colorado Springs is one of those places I normally see while driving through (in this case, on I-25) — from that perspective, the mountains form a wall to the west of the city.  But from above, the fact that the mountains are essentially a (tall) rumpled plateau is much more evident.

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Spirits of the Ancestors

A muted, somewhat ghostly shot for you — from Upper Antelope Canyon in Arizona:

Spirits of the ancestors

A few things to note if you want to visit either Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon for photography:

  1. Only the upper canyon has nice, wide alcoves like this; also, it’s easier for people with mobility issues to move in, thanks to its relatively-wide sandy floor.
  2. You need to move fast (and get a little assistance from your guide) to get a shot of an alcove that doesn’t have other people in it — this is particularly true for the upper canyon.
  3. It helps to visit the upper canyon in the winter — you can see light rays in various places in Summer, and since this is well-publicized, the place is even more crowded then.
  4. The upper canyon has a two-way pedestrian flow (as opposed to the lower canyon, which has an entrance on one end and an exit on the other), so there can be jostling as people try to go their separate ways.

The Super Blood Moon

I don’t know why it took me so long to post it, but here’s my favorite among the shots I took of last Sunday’s supermoon lunar eclipse (near the deepest part of the eclipse):

The Super Blood Moon

We didn’t have time to run off anywhere for a unique local point of interest in the frame, I shot this straight off the deck over our garage.  Still, I like it — even with (maybe because of) the traces of clouds below the moon.  The clouds swept through just after the eclipse started, and I was afraid they’d ruin the whole show, but they moved out just in time.