A Reddish Kind of Pink

While wandering around my rural acreage a few mornings ago, I ran across some of my Fire Pink (Silene virginica) wildflowers that are in one of my wildflower gardens. I’ve always loved seeing the Fire Pinks in bloom … so robust and cheery red!

Fire Pink wildflower

Fire Pink wildflower

And my hummingbirds love to see these guys in bloom, also!  :o)

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 500
  • Aperture f/5
  • Shutter 1/60 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2015, Blog, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
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“In the beginning …

… God created the heaven and the earth.” And one fine job He did!

Today’s post features my favorite single image of the Devil’s Tower astrophotographical trip to capture the heavens above the national monument. For me, this one image has it all … a meteor streaking across the sky, the Milky Way with it’s galactic core very visible, and even some interesting light in the bottom-right of the image, which is the capture of some lightning bolts that are lighting up the skies behind the clouds:

Perseid meteor shower & Milky Way over the Devil's Tower

Even though I live in a rural area of Missouri, I rarely get to see the Milky Way, so this was a real treat for me! I’m already planning possible locations to capture the Perseids and Milky Way next August! :o)

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Tamron 17mm-35mm, f/2.8 – f/3.5 wide angle lens, shot at 17mm
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graf Studioball ballhead
  • ISO 3200
  • Aperture f/3.5
  • Shutter: Set to “Bulb” and an intervelometer set for 29 seconds

 

 

Posted in 2015, Astrophotography, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Let the (Meteor) Show Begin!

Today’s post features the Perseid meteors, captured over the Devil’s Tower NM, in northeast Wyoming. This is the big show, the one I came out to photograph. Just watching such a spectacular show is quite amazing when you are in the open vista of a place like the Devil’s Tower, but photographing the show was even more exciting! Here are just a few of the many meteors I captured as they flew over the Devil’s Tower:

Perseid meteor shower over the Devil's Tower

Perseid meteor shower over the Devil's Tower

Perseid meteor shower over Devil's Tower NM

Perseid meteor shower over Devil's Tower NM

Perseid meteor shower over Devil's Tower NM

By the way, see the green “waves” across the sky? No, not the Aurora (although I would have loved to see them this evening!), but a phenomenon called “air glow”. Air glow is actually light emitting from small particles in the upper atmosphere that is sometimes observed during the night hours. This was my first encounter with air glow, but it gives an interesting look and feel to the images!

In the next post, I’ll share my “best of trip” image, a meteor over the Devil’s Tower (from a different location/angle), with the Milky Way overhead, and light from a distant lightning storm that was creeping into the image.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Tamron 17mm-35mm, f/2.8 – f/3.5 wide angle lens, shot at 17mm
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graf Studioball ballhead
  • ISO 6400
  • Aperture f/2.8
  • Shutter: Set to “Bulb” and each individual exposed for 29 seconds, using an intervelometer

 

 

Posted in 2015, Astrophotography, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Early Morning Dewdrop

One morning this past week, I made a hike through the nearby natural prairie. There was a lot of early morning dew on the plants, which always makes for some fun and interesting photography. Today’s post contains a couple of images of a Goldenrod in bloom, with a beautiful dewdrop on one of it’s outreaching limbs:

Goldenrod wildflower with dewdrop

Goldenrod wildflower with dewdrop

Several other wildflowers were blooming. I’ll share some of those in a later post.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Graff Studio ballhead
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter 1/15 sec.

 

 

 

Posted in 2015, Blog, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Devil’s Tower at Night, Part 2

In part 2 of my night photography at Devil’s Tower NM post, I’m featuring a “star stack” image, made by stacking (combining) multiple, relatively short exposure images:

Star Trails over Devil's Tower NM

This image was made by stacking 48 individual images, each using the following parameters:

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Tamron 17mm-35mm, f/2.8 – f/3.5 wide angle lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graf Studioball ballhead
  • ISO 3200
  • Aperture f/3.5
  • Shutter: Set to “Bulb” and each individual exposed for 2 minutes, using an intervelometer; images “stacked” using StarStaX software

A couple of interesting things about this photo:  (1) the tower is lit due to one of the instructors standing at the base of the tower and “light painting” with a powerful flashlight, and (2) the extremely bright white streak on the tower was a small group of rock climbers descending the tower in the night hours.

 

 

Posted in 2015, Astrophotography, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Devil’s Tower at Night, Part 1

Capturing daytime images of the Devil’s Tower (Devil’s Tower in Daylight post) was awesome, but capturing the landscape with astrophotography was such a “rush” for me! I have always wanted to learn how to properly expose and capture decent astrophotography images, particularly star trails, meteor showers, and the Milky Way. Fortunately, I was able to learn and capture each of these type of astrophotography images in the 3-day workshop I attended at the Devil’s Tower.

Today’s post features a single, long exposure star trails image, with stars rotating (actually, the stars are not rotating, but the earth’s rotations causes the star trails) around the Devil’s Tower:

Long Exposure Star Trail over Devil's Tower NM

(This image was captured from the parking lot, at the base of the Devil’s Tower)

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Tamron 17mm-35mm, f/2.8 – f/3.5 wide angle lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with Graf Studioball ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/3.5
  • Shutter: Set to “Bulb” and exposed for just over 32 minutes, using an intervelometer

A little background on the Devil’s Tower NM (was hoping to have this in yesterday’s post, but ran out of time!). The Devil’s Tower was proclaimed our first national monument in 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt. Boiling down the geological story of how the tower was born, the tower was caused by a pool of magma being forced into sedimentary rocks above it, and cooled underground. As it cooled, it contracted and fractured into “columns”, which can be seen in the tower to this day. The tower rises 867 feet from it’s base and stands 5,112 feet above sea level. The area of the tower’s top is ~1.5 acres, with a diameter of it’s base ~1,000 feet. A very interesting “rock”.

 

 

Posted in 2015, Astrophotography, Blog, Landscape Photography, National Park, Nature Photography, Travel Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Devil’s Tower by Daylight

Today’s post is the first of several I will publish on my recent trip to the Devil’s Tower National Monument, located in northeastern Wyoming.

This trip was part of a photography workshop I was attending, hosted by the Rocky Mountain School of Photography (where I studied, once I left my corporate job in 2007). The group of 14 photographers came from across the U.S. and had varying levels of photographic experience. We had a pair of fabulous, accomplished night photography instructors, Gabe Bideman and Matt Hill, both of New York City.

Prior to the start of the workshop, I photographed the Devil’s Tower (my first trip to see this incredible rock!) by day. Here are a few of my favorite images:

Devil's Tower National Monument

Devil's Tower National Monument

Devil's Tower National Monument

Devil's Tower National Monument

During the entire 4 days I was in the area, there were rock climbers seen ascending or descending the tall rock structure, every day … and night! The next few posts will highlight this national monument at night … and with the Perseid meteor shower … and with the Milky Way in the heavens, overhead :o)

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Tamron 17mm-35mm, f/2.8 – f/3.5 wide angle lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 250 and ISO 400
  • Aperture f/16 (all)
  • Shutter 1/60 sec. to 1/160 sec.

 

 

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Water Lilies

Today’s post is another from my recent Minnesota trip. While photographing on the Sherburne NWR, I came upon a large number of water lilies blooming in the refuge waters. I don’t have any ID on these, but they sure were a wonderful sight!

Water Lily

Water Lily

Water Lily

Water Lily

July and August are great months to find water plants in bloom, and I always enjoy finding them!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6 telephoto lens + Canon 1.4x TC
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 200 to ISO 400
  • Aperture f/8 (all)
  • Shutter 1/500 sec. to 1/800 sec.

 

 

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Fun Friday: Albino Bigbird?

When we were in Minnesota, a few weeks ago, I think we found an albino Bigbird:

Strange-looking rooster

Strange-looking rooster

Strange-looking rooster

Actually this was one of the roosters my sister-in-law has at her home. But you have to admit, he has a canny appearance of being Sesame Street’s Bigbird’s albino sibling!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6 telephoto lens + Canon 1.4x TC
  • Handheld from a kayak, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/8
  • Shutter 1/60 sec. to 1/80 sec.

 

 

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Badland Bighorn Sheep, Part 2

This Part 2 of the Badland Bighorn Sheep post includes some images captured in the Badlands NP, on my way home. Here are a few of my favorite images of these wonderful mammals that roam the rocky slopes and jagged peaks of the Badlands:

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6 telephoto lens + Canon 1.4x TC
  • Handheld from a kayak, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/11 to f/16
  • Shutter 1/80 sec. to 1/200 sec.

 

 

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