Backyard Autumn Night Sky in New Jersey: Time-lapsed Video and Star Trails
It is hard to believe that it is December. I have not posted anything since Thanksgiving. A lot of end of year activities at work, still more to clean up in the yard after the early snow storm, and finally getting caught up with the Drobo external data drive recovery and new Drobo backup. I have a few images taken with the new Nikon 1 V1 camera that I need to go back and post, along with some pros and cons about the new camera.
The sky was clear, so I put two cameras out early this morning after the moon went down for night sky images. These images were used to put together the following time-lapsed video.
After being up all night for some night sky images, it looked like there could be some color at dawn. I took the chance and drove to the bridge over the Delaware river between Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA. The first image is a panorama of 5 images taken with the Nikon 1 V1 and 10 mm f/2.8 lens using Kolor AutoPano Giga Pro. The next two images are HDR composites using Nik HDR Efex Pro from images taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens. Bottom line, the Nikon 1 V1 may be good, but I am not giving up my Nikon D3x anytime soon.
Hawaii Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan: Day 5
Four years ago today I was attending a photography workshop on the Big Island of Hawaii led by Thom Hogan . We spent Thanksgiving day in and around Volcanoes National Park. Later in the afternoon we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at the Volcano House Hotel with other guests at the Lodge and some local residents.
The day started shooting sunrise over the Kilauea crater. In order to record the wide range of light, I took seven images with different exposure times. These were then processed using Photomatix (a HDR program). While traveling to the next photography location, Thom and Tony spotted a Nene (the Hawaiian state bird, also known as the Hawaiian Goose). The Nene is probably distantly related to Canada geese, however the Nene do not migrate. I guess that once they found Hawaii, they decided to stay 🙂 . The Nene almost went extinct and is now protected by the state. It can also be found on some of the other Hawaiian islands. Finally, Thom helped with a composition including a fern.
I had two cameras out monitoring the night sky with the hope of catching a Leonid Meteor. Two of the images had small meteor trails. A bit later there was something much brighter. I am not sure if it is a meteor, however it does not have parallel lights or regular strobe flashes like a jet trail. The other possibility would be a satellite trail. The curved trail is due to the fisheye lens. I used DxO to process the image to correct for the fisheye effect (4th/final image).
Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station: Comparison of HDR Image Processing Programs
I used images taken at sunset last year to do a comparison of HDR (high dynamic range) processing programs. The first image is the original image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). The next three images are HDR composites from 5 exposures (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2 EV) using Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro, Photomatix Pro, and Nik HDR Efex Pro. The final image was processed using DxO Optics Pro 6 using a “single-shot” HDR technique. All of the new HDR programs have multiple, if not many presets as well as many controls to optimize the image. The HDR programs have come a long way over the last 3-4 years, where the HDR effects were often overboard. But then again, HDR can recover an uninteresting image i.e. “A derelict fishing boat along the Alaska Canada Highway”
Gone to See Hawaii, Maui Day 5: Rainbow then Moon from the Beach
This was my last day in Maui. Not much time for photography while I attended talks and a poster session at the meeting. I definitely want to return to Hawaii. I saw a great rainbow from the balcony in my room at the Maui Westin Hotel. The rooms with a view inland didn’t cost as much as the rooms with a view of the ocean. My final image is a post sunset view of the moon from the beach. Did I say I want to return to Hawaii.
Gone to See Hawaii, Maui Day 3: Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station
I left the meeting early to get to the Pu’U’Ula’Ula peak in Haleakala National Park for sunset. When I got to the parking lot I saw this bird, which I later identified as a Chukar. The elevation here is about 10,000 feet, and as the sun went down it got windy and cold fast. The thermometer on my GPS indicated 30°F, and I only had a light windbreaker. I didn’t think to carry cold weather gear for the trip to Hawaii. I did get several great images of the sunset over the nearby Haleakala Air Force Satellite tracking station and observatories.
Late Autumn Night Sky Over New Jersey: Star Trails and Time-lapsed Video
Images of star and jet trails plus a time-lapsed video looking south from my house in New Jersey. This was a couple of days before the Geminid meteor shower was supposed to peak, but I did catch a few meteors during the night. A series of images were taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 400, f/4, 30 sec). The star trail images are composites of 120 images combined with the Startrails program. A time-lapsed video of the entire set was also created using Adobe Photoshop CS5 export to video. When you see Orion, tell me what I did wrong…
Orion, Tarus, Pleiades and clouds. Looking South from my backyard. One of ~ 1000 images taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 400, 24 mm, f/4, 30 sec). The series was converted into a time lapsed video.
Gone to See Florida 2007 Road Trip Day 4: A Busy Christmas Day
Early morning sunrise and night-time photography at the Vinoy Hotel. Wildlife photography at the Weedon Island Nature Preserve. Lots of birds, a crab spider, and how often do you see, let alone catch a “flying fish” in midair. Then the extended Mathre family Christmas Day celebration.