Thursday, August 14, 2014

Big Moon!

Seems like everyone with a camera was out photographing the super moon on Sunday night! It was pretty cool because moonrise and sunset came at almost the exact same time. I'm guessing that's a pretty rare occurrence. As I was setting up on one side of the street, getting ready for the moonrise to the east, I took a pic of some photographers setting up on the other side of the street (shooting toward the west).
Meanwhile, to the east, the supermoon was starting to rise over central Orange County and the Saddleback Mountain.
...And a few minutes later, it looked like the moon was rolling down the mountain!

As I was driving home, the moon was still low on the horizon so I stopped and took this photo of the moon and the Harbor Blvd. street sign. I like the way it turned out!

Hope you had a chance to get out and enjoy the moon over the weekend! Linking with Skywatch Friday. Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Orange County Fair

A friend of mine and I have a routine... you might even call it a tradition. Every year we go to the Orange County Fair to see a concert. This is a friend who was, many years ago, my boss. I was just getting started in my career and I'll always be grateful to him for helping me along when I was just getting started.

The challenge is that we have very different tastes in music. For a few years this frustrated me, and I wanted to dig in my heels and insist we see bands that we both like. Well, bands that we both like are few and far between and it's taken me a couple of years to figure out that our tradition has nothing to do with seeing great bands. It's all about friendship. I've changed my perspective, and if the bands are half-way decent, well, that's just icing on the cake!

Which brings me to last night's band at the Fair. Really makes me feel old when I'm seeing a band whose biggest hit was in 1972!! Yes, you read that right, 1972. I have a great video clip I captured last night on my iPhone, but unable to upload it on blogger. If you are from my generation, it would have brought a big smile to your face... Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple! Every kid who has ever picked up a guitar knows how to play this song. I would never go see Deep Purple on my own, but I must say, the band was great. We had a blast!

No cameras allowed, but I couldn't resist snapping a couple cell phone shots as we were walking through the fair on our way to see Deep Purple (opening band was Blue Oyster Cult).

Rock On!  Linking with Skywatch Friday
Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world!!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Desert Panoramas

I haven't taken any pano shots in a while... overdue, right? Driving the Jeep around in Joshua Tree recently the conditions were ideal: Wide open vistas combined with great clouds. I was thinking about my friends at Skywatch Friday when I took these!
The shot above is one of my favorites. It's two images stitched together in Photoshop with my telephoto zoom lens set at 90mm. Double-click on the image to make it larger so you can see the dirt road off in the distance that I took to get down into this part of Joshua Tree National Park. It's called Geology Tour Road, and it's one of my favorite areas in the park. Here's the same shot in b&w. What's your preference??
Below is another pano shot of the same area. This time my zoom is set at 70mm and it's three images stitched together, so it covers a much wider angle. The problem with pano shots is that the more images you stitch together, the narrower the final shot ends up. I generally don't like to use more than three images or the shot gets too narrow.

The double-peaked hill to the left is called Malapai Hill. The geologists get really excited about this hill. I have no idea why and I don't know much about geology. I just know it looks cool and it's a nice hike over to the base.
The photo below is very different from those above. As I was bumping along home in the Jeep, traveling north past Malapai Hill, the sun had set and the sky was dark and grey except for this little sliver of bright, colorful sky. I used a tripod and a 400mm telephoto lens and stitched together two images. It's really just a very small area because of the telephoto lens, but it looked like a jewel on the horizon!
Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend. Click on the Skywatch link to check out great skies from around the world!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Rain

Well, not really. Wishful thinking on my part. The sprinklers went off in the backyard the other morning, and the sun was hitting my wife's milkweed plants (they attract butterflies, which we've had in numbers all summer long) in a way that caught my eye. I used a slower shutter speed and 200mm telephoto lens to get blur and turn the sprinkler drops into "lines".
200mm, f/9, 1/50 sec., ISO 100
I did something in PhotoShop to make the image below... more contrast and a green background, but can't recall exactly how I did it! Oh well, not important.
Looking back now, I wish I would have taken a couple shots with a fast shutter speed to "freeze" the drops in mid-air. Would have made for an interesting comparison! Happy Wednesday, hope your week is going well, and thanks for stopping by!

Wordless Wednesday