Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lunar Eclipse from Issaquah, WA

I can't believe the weather cooperated!
Just before I went to bed I put all my gear on the porch to cool off so my lenses didn't fog when I was ready to get started, and left a pile of warm clothes near the door. 3 hours later I was out of bed.
I crawled on the roof with two cameras on tripods and a bag of lenses and other equipment. In the dark! I'm sure it looked like a huge disaster waiting to happen.
I started by shooting intervals on the 30D & 24-70 as the moon faded away (I'll have to photoshop them all into one picture eventually). And I used the 10D IR with the 70-300 and a 1.5x TC. Having to manually focus that thing just wasn't working for me. And the moon looks the same in IR anyway.
As I sat there and enjoyed the show I realized the moon was getting so dark that I could probably pull of some star trails with the moon in the frame. So once it was fully eclipsed I started the lens changing madness. I never did do any serious star trails because I remembered that my camera will take a noise reducing exposure of equal length immediately following the shot. I didn't want to take a 10 minute star trail and lose the camera for 20 minutes total. So I got some nice shots of the orange moon and stars. And now I'm going to bed...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sailing Lessons

I needed a break during my bike ride home from work because I thought I was going to die... just like I did on the way in. So I pulled over where the Seafair pits were a few weeks earlier and watched some kids work on their sailing skills. I had no idea sailing lessons could be so much fun. I'm not sure if they were doing this on purpose or not. But it sure made me want to take lessons. Eventually some dogs showed up and chased the birds around.

Click here to see the rest of my pictures from this event.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Wallace Falls

Wallace Falls is sweet! There are 3 levels to it. The first one is a mile down the trail. It's ok, kinda small, but not bad. There are sort of sub-falls below the one labeled "lower" that are probably more interesting. The middle fall is by far the coolest. It's the tallest of the three and has two fabulous sets of sub-falls below it. There's a really steep and treacherous path going from the lookout, with the sign that says you'll die if you leave the trail (my paraphrase), to the bottom. It's hard on the knees but totally worth it. Had I been only slightly more prepared I would have gone swimming. There's a deep section to the pool with some tall rocks on the edge that would make a great diving platform. I must go back and take advantage of that sometime soon. The upper falls are quite disappointing because the mile to get there is all switchback. And after all that effort it's not as exciting as the middle falls.

Anyway, it was a little too bright to get good blurry water shots this time. It seems that during the morning the falls are shadowed, but all afternoon they are at least partly lit by the sun. So the best time to shoot them would either be early morning or late evening.

Interesting facts: The trailhead starts at Wallace Falls State Park which is underneath massive buzzing powerlines, there are benches all along the trail, there is pretty good cell phone reception on the trail.

Click here to see the rest of my pictures from this hike.

Olympic Sculpture Park

The Seattle Art Museum recently opened the Olympic Sculpture Park near the Seattle waterfront. It's free, outside, and very interesting. Perfect for a photosafari! Especially a digital infrared one. All the black and white pictures are from my IR 10D. Inside the main building for the OSP are two hanging basket chairs. They look totally cool, but are terribly uncomfortable. I'm sure they did that on purpose to keep people from hogging them all day. The park goes over a street and railroad tracks and ends up at a park along the water in downtown Seattle. Not only does the park have interesting art, it also has fantastic wildflowers and trees.

Click here to see the rest of the pictures from my visit to the OSP.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Seafair 2007

I went to Seafair 2007 on Friday and Sunday. Each year I get more interesting pictures of the Blue Angels performing. This time the supersonic pass made some great cloud cones and shock waves. I still can't believe how low they fly. Next year I need to be on one of those boats!

Click here to see more pictures of the Blue Angels, the hydroplanes, and more of Seafair 2007!