As a matter of fact, it’s all dark

August was amazing. Had to go see a man about an eclipse.

I was fortunate enough to get in with the Eclipse Mega Movie Project  and that community had a lot of resources and advice for shooting an eclipse. Exposure charts. Field of View Calculators. Weather forecasts. Lots of technical, sciency stuff. In addition to the technical details, there was discussion about traffic, alternate plans in case of inclimate weather and how much food and water to pack in the car.

I fretted about it for a while and eventually decided to concentrate on the photography and ignore the rest. That there would be no traffic, no clouds, no problems. Packed the cameras and the daughter and headed to my Dad’s place in Idaho Falls.

Using Baader solar film, I made filters for my Fuji 55-200 and a Sigma 600mm F8 lens mounted on the old Pentax Spotmatic Dad gave me.

Filters on, we started shooting at First Contact and when totality approached, checked the framing and focus and removed the filters. After all the study of exposures, it ultimately came down to “F8 and be there” or in my case, F11 and be there. Started at 1/4000th and worked my way down, taking one frame at every shutter speed on the camera. Each slower speed exposed more and more of the corona. The plan was to go back up through the shutter speeds, but at this point I wasn’t even really paying attention to the camera. It was just change the shutter speed, press the shutter release, repeat.

Of all the images, this is my favorite. Taken at the end of totality, it shows the corona, a couple prominences and the diamond ring.

The details: Fujifilm X-E2 with XF55-200 @200mm. 1/125th @f11, ISO 200

2017_September

September 2017

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Just a slice

I participated in a Fujifilm instameet this month and was fortunate enough to borrow an X-Pro2 and a 56mm f 1.2 lens. The X-Pro2 is bigger and heavier than my X-E2. The hybrid viewfinder took some getting used to and I’m not quite sure how I would like it with a zoom lens, but overall, it was pretty sweet.

The lens, however, I fell in love with immediately. This image shows one of the reasons why – at f1.2, the focal depth is just a sliver.

The details: Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF56mm f1.2. 1/500th @f1.2, ISO 2002017_august

August 2017

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Off into the sunset

We visited Santa Marta, Columbia on our vacation back in May. This shot of the lighthouse on Isla El Morro was one of the last frames of the day as we set sail for our next port.

The details: FujiFilm X-E2/Fuji XF 18-55 @50mm 1/1000th @f7.1, ISO 200

2017_July

July 2017

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What a colorful world

We just returned from a vacation – a cruise through the Panama Canal (LA->Ft. Lauderdale) and it was, as you might expect, quite incredible. We had stops in Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Columbia and Aruba.

While in Costa Rica, we visited the Natuwa Macaw Sanctuary where they work with injured and otherwise vulnerable birds. Its good work these guys do and you can find out more on their website.

In addition to having Macaws recovering in huge aviaries, many are rehabilitated and released back into the wild. There are a bunch that hang around the sanctuary – perhaps it’s the presence of so many of their brethren that makes them comfortable with staying. Either way, they’re beautiful birds.

These two scarlet macaws were keeping an eye on our group as we toured the grounds.

The details: FujiFilm X-E2/Fuji XF 55-200 @120mm 1/40th @f4.2, ISO 400 (This baffles me a little bit – I thought I had set the camera to increase the ISO if the shutter speed dropped below 200. So that wasn’t working or I had it set wrong. Aside from that, I have no idea how this is a clear shot. I simply shouldn’t have been able to hand hold 120mm @1/40th of a second exposure. Oh well – I’ll take it)

2017_june

June 2017

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A weed shines brighter

There’s a lot in the neighborhood that every spring sprouts up these clusters of lovely purple flowers (Grape Hyacinth I believe), but every time I get around to going and taking a photo of them, they’ve been mowed down. Not this year!

So I went and shot some frames and was pleased with the color and the detail and was getting ready to head home. On a whim, I shot this one frame of a dandelion and I ended up liking it better than the flowers. Go figure.

The details: FujiFilm X-E2/Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 55mm f2.8 macro, 1/250th at f /2.8, ISO 2002017_March

May 2017

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Challenge Accepted!

As I was taking photos of budding cherry blossoms on the tree in the backyard, my Wife came out and told me “I challenge you to make an interesting picture out of the rhubarb plant. I want rhubarb on my desktop this month.” Well, I guess I do requests now 😉

The sun was a little bright on the plant so I dashed off to the garage to grab one of my reflectors to create a little shade. The plant itself had only recently re-emerged after winter’s slumber and the space under the new leaves made for a very alien landscape.

The details: FujiFilm X-E2/Nikon Micro-NIKKOR 55mm f2.8 macro, 1/40th at f /4, ISO 200

2017_April

April 2017

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