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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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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Liberty

On my recent trip to the East Coast, my wife and I spent a day in Philadelphia seeing the sights.

Visiting Independence National Historic Park took up most of our day. The exhibit for the Liberty Bell taught me a lot about the origin of the iconic bell and how its legacy and symbolism remains relevant today.

The tour of Independence Hall was amazing – made even more impactful by the tour guide’s passionate oration. To stand in the room where the Declaration was signed was pretty amazing.

For more information about these National Treasures (see what I did there?), visit https://www.nps.gov/inde/index.htm

The details: Fujifilm X-E2/XF18-55mm @55mm, f/4.0, 1/60 sec ISO 800

2016_july

July 2016

iPad

Lincoln

Spent a day tromping around Washington D.C. and ended the day at the Lincoln Memorial. This was kind of a powerful moment for me, standing off to the side of the central chamber, it was quiet and uncrowded.

The details: Fujifilm X-e2/xf 18-55mm @18mm, f/3.6, 1/60 sec ISO 2500

2016_june

June 2016

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Ginger Sprite

Went for a walk out in Delaware’s Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge the other day. I was hoping to see an egret or two, maybe a great blue heron. As I came around the corner, I saw movement off the trail out of the corner of my eye, and was suddenly very glad I had the 55-200 mounted on my camera.

These two foxes seemed to be hanging out near their den and were curious but wary of me. They obligingly held the pose long enough for me to snap off a couple frames and then dashed away, leaving me wondering if I actually saw what I thought I saw.

I could have left right then and been a happy man, but I explored the rest of the Refuge and did indeed see an egret and about a dozen herons.

The details: Fujifilm X-e2/xf 55-200 @200mm, f/4.8, 1/200 sec ISO 2000

2016_May

May 2016

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