Catching the moon or the sun aligned over or behind your favorite landmark is a bit harder than it might seem. Especially the moon which has chaotic motion. If you want to figure out how to do it, I teach a Webinar that many have spoken very highly of.
Photographs featuring stars and the night sky within 20 miles or less of major cities - and some taken WITHIN major cities.
Being on the West Coast has some advantages... an ocean to the west where no one can put up a city full of bright lights, for example.
Putting still image with still image and either Picasa3 or one of the many animation programs produces movement.
Most of my timelapses are created as a byproduct of my Star Trail shots.
I describe how I create timelapses on my BLOG
Some shots require considerable advance planning. For example: capturing the International Space Station as it hurtles across the face of the Sun or the Moon. For that you've got to find the right place at the right time and time it perfectly.
Other examples include timing seasonal events for the maximum impact, scouting for the best (or only) vantage point to capture the prized photo.
These images have appeared in published form which includes large prints for clients, display in exhibits, on television, on in one or more printed publications.
It's always fascinating what strikes people's attention as several of the images I find most compelling have not been picked up or published.
These are the images seen on the KQED segment about my night photography.
For more details - including the broadcast schedule, and other appearances I've made on the little screen, see information about this episode, or here
My favorites of the 600K photos I've taken so far (to be fair, however about 350K of those were sets for star trails or animation or astrophotography). Please feel great freedom to comment on these knowing that I've already said how much I like them! One of them, however, is not worthy to be in this set. Tell me which one and why... you might win a prize!
Images from our Nation's Capitol. Though I was born and raised in Washington, DC, these images are all from my recent trip on December 10, 2011 to catch the eclipsed moon setting (and rising) over various landmarks in the city.
Shots of stars, star trails and other night views. Some appear to be daylight shots - but are not!
Most of my star trails using a photo stacking technique. This technique is described in Star trails treatise on my website. More details are provided with many of the images, too, such as the "Bristlecone Pine Star Circle", above.
These are conventional photos of fireworks with a twist. Little or no post processing was done the effect you see is mostly done as the image was captured. The idea is not original with me.
For more conventional shots of fireworks, take a look at this set.
I took a copious number of pictures on my journey through Jordan and Israel. Most of the trip was a tour by International Christian Journeys, but the unrest in Egypt changed our itinerary and we ended up with 4 days in Jordan before the rest of the tour began. That proved fortuitous as the most photographically interesting places we went were Petra and Wadi Rum. In all I was in Petra for the better part of 3 days. There is so much there that I only scratched the surface. The weather was hostile to night photography so I did little of it, though all in all the weather was pleasant - not too cold, and only a little rain.
Blue Bell tours handled the Jordan portion, and Gordon Tours the Israel section. I'm not one to engage tours, but I can tell you I learned and noticed a lot more things with Gus who brought the group to Petra than I discovered on my own in two prior days. Ditto for David who led the tour in Israel. He's a walking encyclopedia.
You'll probably notice this set is heavy with images from Petra and Wadi Rum... as it should be they were for me the most visually striking places.
For yet more pictures - mostly of people I toured with, see here.
I have grown very fond of the spectacular views from Mission Peak, part of the East Bay Regional Park District just East of Fremont. It is particularly spectacular to be there at sunset or sunrise.
Not only is the park conveniently located 20 minutes from where I work but it is a demanding hike up 3 miles and 2200 feet. I have been to the top more than a dozen times now: both for exercise and to escape the "rat race" of Silicon Valley. There is room at the top for contemplation and serenity in the expansive park lands our leaders have thoughtfully preserved.
All of the photos in this set were taken within the EBRPD "Mission Peak" preserve and adjacent lands including Ed Levin County Park, and the Sunol Regional Wilderness.
It is difficult to convey how sublime it is to watch the lights of the valley come to life as the sun sets over the San Francisco Bay, or the different patterns of green or golden amber light formed by the rolling hills in the warm sun, or the peculiar behavior of fog pouring into the valleys.
There are even interesting animals to discover - magpies, coyotes, squirrels, ravens, hawks, lizards, and yes, even perhaps a rattlesnake.
My first expedition to the top two years ago to capture the total lunar eclipse got me hooked.. There is so much beauty and serenity so close to the major cities here - and some know nothing about it.
More significantly at this financially challenigng time, the Regional Park District and the Open Space Preserves are separately funded and expect to continue to remain open even if the State Parks close.
I'd like to have this set considered for KQED Quest. Thank you!
Photos created using Photomatix, Photomatix Light, Photoshop CS5, HDR Photostudio, or edited by hand to preserve the range of light visible to the eye but not capturable in single exposure due to limitations of the camera's "dynamic range" (the range between the brightest and darkest elements that a digital camera can capture and still maintain detail).
I run into all kinds of folks on Mission Peak. Every age from young to old, frail to rugged. Some of them are fascinating characters. This is a study of those people - most of whom I haven't met formally though I do ask if I can take their picture - they usually don't mind!
And for those who hike with me, I've started a series of "Mountain People" awards.
Someone has proposed a tram to the top of MIssion Peak. Fortunately EBRP district is NOT in favor of the idea. Nor am I, by the way!
These shots are from a trip to Red Rock State Park, Alabama Hills, McGee Canyon and Yosemite, CA. Yes, I know McGee canyon and Yosemite are not a "Southern CA Desert" but we went through these places on the way back. The contrast between the 101 days and scorching sun in Alabama Hills and the frozen lakes in Yosemite was quite memorable.
These are photos from my several expeditions to the Eastern Sierras. Kip Evans of Mountain and Sea Gallery in Carmel, California led a photo expedition in fall, 2007. Ever since I'm hooked. So much beautiful scenery... and so many seasons of light.
Includes photos from more recent trips as well. Does not include Yosemite even though parts of it are definitely in the Eastern Sierras, but does include Mono Lake which is at the foot of the Eastern Sierra Nevadas - not in them. This set also does NOT include the White Mountains which are East of the Sierras on the border with Nevada.
PIctures taken Thursday, August 20, 2009 of the Lockheed Fire near Swanton, California. As of this writing the fire has consumed 7,500 acres of steep, heavily forested canyon lands.
Also includes photos from other fires, such as the Yosemite "Big Meadow" fire of August 23, 2009.
Photos from Bodie, California a boom-bust ghost town fueled by the gold rush and mining frenzy that started around 1849. Bodie is at 7000 feet altitude and has no trees. It is very hot in the summer and frigid in the winter. Despite these "handicaps" it was continuously inhabited from about 1848 until 1913. Most of these photos are from the "Friends of Bodie" day held on August 8, 2009 where the patrons donned garb appropriate to the days of Bodie's inhabitancy. It is now a State Park.
4 days in the California Desert(s). Includes photos from Anza Borrego State Park (near San Diego), Salton Sea, and Joshua Tree National Park.
Kip Evans, who is a professional, and I camped in various locales to catch the peak of the wildflower season. It was a blast and it was not too hot, nor too cold and was great fun.
Many of these shot are Geotagged using GeoSetter. Basically you run your GPS unit, export the track to GeoSetter which then uses the photo exposure date and time to find the matching coordinates from the GPS track. Neat.
Yosemite and Hetch Hetchy area - includes Half Dome hike at night and various flora, fauna, and granite areas of interest.
For some additional photos of this and other Yosemite trips see my Picasaweb site.
The Pacific Coast has its own mystique. Mostly these are sunset or night shots. Well, at the moment all are sunset or night shots. Some are bathed in moonlight, some starlight only - some even bathed in "Lighthouse" light - and let's not overlook houselights, car headlights, and occasionally my flashlight!
August 23-25th with the help of a friend who was unable to use his overnight permit, three of us tackled the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. It was a spectacular accomplishment for us, and a visually overwhelming experience, too.
A large cadre (about 38 of us) started hiking at 9:00 pm to summit Half Dome in time for a little rest and enjoyment of the sunrise. For additional pictures, see the [url=http://hiking.meetup.com/163/photos/379321/]Super Fabulicious Hiking Meetup[/url] photo page.
Photos include Lake of the Woods, Lake Aloha, Tamarack Lake and other views along this section of the Pacific Coast Trail in the Desolation Wilderness.
A beautiful lake in the Desolation Wilderness - Lake Aloha was the goal of our Photography Group.
A night hike up Clouds Rest to watch the Sunrise (and Moonset) from a spectacular location in Yosemite National Park. We began our hike at 1:00 am from the Tenaya Lake trailhead. It took about 3 hours and 45 minutes to get to the summit in the cool of the evening. We headed back down at about 7:00 am and got back to the car at 10:30 am.
Photos from the Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic - from dawn patrol until about 7:20 am. No balloons launched due to low cloud cover, but six were inflated before I left. I only attended on Saturday as it was about a two and a half hour drive to get there.
Coastal park north of Santa Cruz and only about a few minutes north of Natural Bridges. This is a popular biking and walking trail.
Please comment on which of these is your favorite of the bunch. Thanks!
Photos from a morning expedition to Castle Rock State Park near Los Gatos, California. We arrived at 'bout 9:00 am for this hike (good thing as the parking lot and street parking was full when we returned at 12:30). Our route included Castle Rock, Castle Rock Falls, Goat Rock and back.
On our day hike up Mission Peak near Fremont, CA, we happened upon a cattle drive. The cattle were rounded up, roped, wrestled, inoculated, branded,and some were, 'um emasculated. Not a sight I've ever seen before.
These photos are a little less family friendly. No nudity, but a G-string and an almost full moon or too. These photos have had there safety level tweaked below "safe" And may not yet all be available.
Items entered into the Astronomy Photographer of the Year Competition, 2010
NOTE: Two were selected for the short list!!! The sunset through the Pfeiffer Portal and the Granite Park moon lit star trail.
The "Photon Worshippers" (Pfeiffer Portal) shot won in the category People and Space.