Montgomery Township typically celebrates Independence Day with fireworks several days before the 4th of July. Last year was the first fireworks display for a couple of years due to Covid-19. I live near a great location that overlooks the high school where the township holds the fireworks celebration. Actually, I have been using this spot for over 30 years to watch the fireworks. I got there just before sunset. The sky was hazy with smoke from the Canadian forest fires. A couple of cars arrived before me, but there was still plenty of space to park and to set up three cameras on tripods. The moon was visible but dimmed somewhat due to the haze. As it got dark a few fireflies were visible, but nowhere near as many as last year. I set the cameras up as follows: Base ISO (50 or 64), f/11, 8 second exposure. The fireworks started just before 21:30. I was a bit slow getting all of the cameras focused and starting the cameras interval timer to automatically take images until the show was over. Unfortunately, with one camera the focus wasn’t quite right. The other two were in focus. Images below.
Images taken with a Leica SL2 camera and 90-280 mm f/2.8-4 lens (ISO 50, 280 mm, f/11, 8 sec). Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.
Images taken with a Nikon Z9 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 64, 105 mm, f/11, 8 sec). Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.
Has anyone other than the folks trying to log onto my WordPress account noticed that I haven’t posted anything since February? It seems there have been hundreds of daily brute force attempts to guess my username and password.
I noticed several articles on the net about scientists testing the 3,200 megapixel camera for the Vera Rubin Observatory’s telescope by taking an image of a Romanesco broccoli. It didn’t look like the Broccoli that I am familiar with but was fascinated by the Fractal pattern. Romanesco broccoli was available online at Whole Foods so I ordered one for my weekly grocery delivery. It looks more like a Cauliflower, but green with Fractal like towers. I used it to create my version of a high-resolution focus-stacked image. I set up a Leica SL2 camera with a 50 mm f/1.4 lens on a tripod with a 10 cm focusing rail. The SL2 camera has the capability to take 187 megapixel images using pixel shifting technology via a Multishot mode (available after a Firmware 2.0 update). I took 87 high-resolution images (ISO 50, 50 mm, f/1.4, 1/10 sec) moving the camera forward in ~1 mm intervals. This resulted in 16,269 megapixels of data. The images were processed with Capture One Pro and then Helicon Focus to afford the following focus-stacked (12510 x 10008 pixel, 717 MB) images. The images is in focus for the full depth of the Romanesco broccoli. I love the natural Fractal patterns. You can see that there are some sections where black mold has started growing. Now to clean it up and figure out how to cook it for dinner.
High-Resolution Focus Stacked image of Romanesco Broccoli cropped 1x, 2x, 4x, 16x, 32x. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.
Morning at the Birdfeeders: Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Gray Catbird, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
Afternoon at the Birdfeeders. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.
Contact me if you are interested in a Time-lapse Video of this session at the Birdfeeders. My setup for the birdfeeder images is a Nikon D850 camera and 200 mm f/2 VR lens set to take one image every 5 seconds over a 5 hour period (~3600 images). The new time-lapse video format is 720p (1080 x 720 pixels) and 1 frame/second. The length of the video is about 1 hour in a 1 GB MP4 file. The previous time-lapse videos of the birdfeeders were at 12 frames/second, and to be honest were too fast to identify the birds.
Daily Electric Energy Used (34.9 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (35.0 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sun and clouds. A surplus of 0.1 kWh.
More test images using the Leica SL2 camera with the Sigma 100-400 mm lens. Birds include Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, and Mourning Dove. Flowers include Cosmos, Red Coreopsis, Plains Coreopsis, and Lance-leaf Coreopsis.
Birds at and around the patio birdfeeder. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.
Flowers growing in soft-pots on the patio. Individual images in the slideshow are available in my PhotoShelter Gallery.
Daily Electric Energy Used (48.2 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (52.0 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sun and clouds. A surplus of 3.8 kWh.
Weekly Electric Energy Used (399 kWh) from Sense. Weekly Solar Electric Energy Produced (366 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sun and clouds. A deficit of 33 kWh.
Leica recently updated the firmware for the SL2 camera. One of the new features is the ability to take a 187 megapixel (16736 x 11168) image using the sensor shifting capability. After taking the first image, the sensor is shifted in 1/2 pixel increments to take 8 additional images, then combine the date in camera. The native resolution of the sensor is 47 megapixels (8368 x 5584). To use this feature, the camera must be mounted on a stable platform (tripod), uses the electronic shutter, and turns off both lens and in-camera motion reduction. My first test of this feature is with the Prickly Pear Cactus flower image (full image and cropped 4507 x 3605 image).
Daily Electric Energy Used (56.2 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (65.9 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Sun and intermittent clouds. A surplus of 9.7 kWh. The solar panels continue to produce more energy than required to keep the house cool with the energy efficient Geothermal HVAC system.