Tag Archives: astrophotography

Top Photos from 2014

Is it too late for a “2014 Best of” post?  Hopefully this one is only arriving “casually late”.  Smile

That said, regardless of your photography experience, I think it’s a good practice to go through your photos periodically and choose a few that you consider to be among the best.  The transition from December to January provides, if nothing else, a convenient marker.

So, in no particular order, here are a few from my 2014 archive.

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10 for 2014-1

This is arguably my best Milky Way image.  More details here.

10 for 2014-2

From a quick trip up to Mt St Helens – here’s an image of the edge of the crater that I’d posted over on the Facebook page.

10 for 2014-3

And there I was standing on the Morrison Bridge (trying to get an image for the Bite of Oregon) when the bridge went up.  I also posted a number of images from that gig over on the Camera 47 Facebook page.

10 for 2014-4

From the Harrisburg Harvest Festival and Tractor Pull.  More images from that afternoon can be found here.

10 for 2014-5

Who would have thought that fisheye lenses and historic bombers were a great combination?  More images of this B-17 can be found here.

10 for 2014-6

2014 was the year that I learned about the IR72 filter + X100s.  More details can be found here.

10 for 2014-7

Happened to be in San Francisco for business and brought the X100s along.  This is a panorama cobbled together from a series of handheld images.

10 for 2014-8

Could I really have an annual list of photos and not have a rodeo image?

10 for 2014-9

Or two?  More images from this year’s Philomath Frolic and Rodeo can be found here and here.  If you’re looking for more rodeo – check out the Exposure story.

10 for 2014-10

Or some hot air balloon photos?

10 for 2014-11

Just playing.  This photo can also be found over on my Exposure.co site.

10 for 2014-14

Had a chance to shoot some Polar Plunges for Oregon Special Olympics. The Portland event had a group of Super Plungers that ran once an hour for 24 hours into the very chilly Columbia River.  I posted a number of photos from my time with the Super Plungers over on the Camera 47 Facebook page.

10 for 2014-15

Just a bit of flooding here in Corvallis.

10 for 2014-16

More Viking! At the Bend Polar Plunge.  More images from my trip to Bend can be found here.

10 for 2014-17

The debut of Saddle Shop over the summer.  You can see more from this gig over at Exposure.co.

top 10-21

Was looking for a vintage-feeling portrait for this one that connected the student, his school, and sport.

top 10-22

At the county fair for a dance performance and happened to have the X100s + IR72 filter with me.  Really dug the architecture + sun + colors on this one.  I thought the combination provided an unexpected industrial feel.

dog in shadow-1

Our dog was waiting for a bit of beef jerky in some pretty strong light with shadow.

Christmas morning-1

Christmas morning sunrise over Fish Lake just outside Leavenworth, WA.  Not sure what created all of the sparkles speckles.  I’m guessing it was a really dirty filter.  Then, again, it was Christmas morning.

Dollar Lake and Mt Hood

Had the opportunity to go backpacking with the dudes this last weekend in the Mt Hood wilderness area here in Oregon.  We set up camp at Dollar Lake on the north side of Mt Hood with a day hike up to Black Knoll on Saturday (and a bit beyond).  Below are a few from the trip (all with the X100s).

Thanks, Jim, for pulling the trip details together.  Great location!

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Up on Black Knoll, it simply felt like we were face-to-face with Mt Hood.  Just a side note: this image was with the X100s (equivalent to 35mm focal length) and is not a telephoto compressed image. 

Dudes Go Packpacking 2014 - 1000px-23

Dudes Go Packpacking 2014 - 1000px-28

Just some low light fun and glowing tents.

Dudes Go Packpacking 2014 - 1000px-41

This image was cobbled together about 20 feet outside my tent. 

Dudes Go Packpacking 2014 - 1000px-57

Dollar Lake and Mt Hood (and more IR72 filter fun on the X100s).

Dudes Go Packpacking 2014 - 1000px-62

Wide Field Astrophotography

Bottom line – I think astrophotography is cool.  I dig images from the astronomer / photographer folks that have the big telescopes and filters and take the time to stack a bunch of long exposure frames of deep sky objects (e.g. here).

Me?  I’m just a photographer.  When I look at the sky, it’s less about constellations and more about images.  And in my light and fast style of shooting – wide field images fit the bill.

The definition of wide field astrophotography is broad – but I simplify it to mostly common camera + lens systems.  It may incorporate tracking (motorized) mounts – but it’s not necessary.  I happen to favor wider lenses that allow me to add foreground.  Stabilization (e.g. tripod, rock, crumpled hat)  is essential and a remote shutter release will help with long exposures (e.g. star trails).

mt thielsen -1 This image of the Milky Way above Mt Thielsen was taken from our camp last summer (which I wrote about here and here).  And, in a rare instance of full disclosure (maybe too much information), here’s mostly how and where the image was recorded:

  • Image Date: 22 August 2008
  • Time: 10:22PM Pacific Daylight Savings Time
  • Observing Location: from Thielsen Creek facing south towards Mt Thielsen (Oregon, USA)
  • UTM: 576201E, 4779028N
  • Sky Conditions: clear
  • Camera: 20D
  • Lens: Canon 24mm f/2.8
  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • Exposure Time: 30 seconds
  • ISO Equivalent: 3200
  • Other: Joby Gorillapod SLR (folded kinda funky to get camera in “portrait” position), in-camera noise reduction, additional noise suppression with Noise Ninja, minor exposure adjustments with Adobe LR2.
  • Comments: bright spot Jupiter?

Also, note that 30 seconds was long enough to see some star streaks.  I would have liked for a shorter exposure – but the lens was only f/2.8 and I had already tapped the ISO equivalent on the 20D to 3200.

There are a lot of resources to help with astrophotography on the web – along with folks with much more sophisticated techniques for wide field astrophotography.  Some places to start include Sky and Telescope Magazine’s astrophotography page and Wikipedia.