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Archive for March, 2013

Creek Street~Fooling Around With Perfect Photo Suite 7




Just fooling around with the rather amazing set of tools called Perfect Photo Suite 7 from On One software.  It was on sale a while back so I took the plunge.  One could spend countless hours learning the capabilities of the various modules.   This is Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska on a rainy day.   I must be cycling back to my “anything (almost) goes” philosophy of photo editing.   In time perhaps I will revert back to the more restrained philosophy.

Comet Ahoy!



I feel a little stupid.   It turns out that I did manage to capture Comet Pan Starrs after all.   After going back and studying a few of the frames I took near the end of last weeks Tuesday night vigil, I saw something.   On any of the exposures 1 second in length or longer, there it was!   I never saw it with the naked eye, but my Sigmas 72mm diameter (approx.)  200mm focal length lens apparently captured enough light for success.   It’s a good thing I wasn’t chewing gum a few minutes ago when I discovered this fact, I might have swallowed it.   Oh yeah, that’s the comet there in the upper left.  See it?  Better late than never I guess.

I got about 3 or 4 frames with the comet and my planned moon/windmill combo, but the composition is off, the comet is very weak, and they just don’t look good.  The image above looks much better, it was one of the last I took while walking back to the car, not even knowing the comet was in there.   Crazy times we live in.

In Search Of Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS)




I had a plan last night.   I had my location selected, with an interesting foreground object (windmill).   The previsualized shot would be windmill silhouette,  comet Pan Starrs, and the almost new 1%-2% illuminated sliver of the moon, hanging there like a cosmic smiley face.    It would have been glorious!  Alas, although the moon became visible as expected, where expected, the comet did not.   I was unable to see it, even with my small binoculars.   I had noticed a high thin layer of hazy clouds as the light dimmed, I suspect those were the reason the comet was not visible.   Even though the sky looks clear in these photos, I could see through the binoculars there was a high haze.  I should also note that in my original camera position, the trees you see here were not obscuring my view.

As I was walking back to my car, I noticed a fair amount of earthshine becoming visible on the moon, so grabbed a couple of moody shots of that.  (Earthshine is sunlight reflected from the earth back to the night side of the moon. )   It was fun to be out shooting, even if the comet was a no show.   Online this morning, I’ve seen several images similar to the one I envisioned, not everyone struck out last night.


Here’s a second moody moonset-with-earthshine image:






And finally, here’s a photo taken shortly after the first image posted.    I cropped it tighter to show you….what is that streak near the moon?   Could it be….is that the comet?!





No, sorry, its just the contrail of a high flying jet aircraft.   I thought about trying to pass it off as the comet but figured the astrophotography police would bust me for it right away.  I’m thinking of trying for a comet shot again tonight or at least sometime this week.   The windmill will still be there.


Moonrise~Inside Passage




I’ve been tinkering with this several-years-old photo for some time now.   It was taken right at sunset, from a ship in the Inside Passage along the west coast of Canada.   I’ve been reading about Ansel Adams, and how he dodged and burned the heck out of his prints to make the image he wanted.   It makes me shake my head at the “purist” photographers on the internet who deride anyone who does a lot of post processing.   Anyhow, I ain’t no Ansel Adams but I now feel even a little bit better about tinkering around with my “digital negatives” .    By the way, although this has been majorly massaged, it is not a composite or double exposure etc.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Snowpocalypse II




We got hammered by a second big snow last week, a few days after the first.  This one left a beautiful fluffy snow clinging to even the smallest tree branches.  I did not venture far, and I fear missed some good photo opportunities as a result.    This was in my yard.   I thought it had a hint of the look of one of those old Japanese paintings.